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759.2 B63k-2 57-03695 

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The letters of William Blake 


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from a painting on ivory by John Linnell 1826 




Geoffrey Keynes 

New Tork 

Copyright 1956 by Geoffrey Keynes 
All Rights Reserved 

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London 






The Letters 27 


INDEX 255 


i WILLIAM BLAKE act. 69 frontispiece 

from a painting on ivory by John Linnell 

ii MALEVOLENCE facing page 32 

'water colour i 799 


mezzotint by Jacobe after Romney 1779 


1 6 September 1800 


from a drawing by Herbert Gilchrist 1880 


broadside by Hayley and Blake 1800 



miniatures by Blake c. 1804 


sepia drawing by Blake after Romney 1804 

ix TO THE QUEEN 160 

drawing for Blake's Dedication, 1807, of the 
illustrations to Blair's Grave 1808 

x WILLIAM BLAKE aet. 50 164 

drawing by Schiavonetti after Phillips 1807 


water colour drawing 1808 


tempera on panel 1827 


engraving on copper 1827 


The documents are arranged chronologically^ so that page references are 

not given 


30 January 1803 


23 September 1800 
2 October 1800 

10 May 1 80 1 

11 September 1801 
i o January 1 802 
22 November 1802 

22 November 1802 

23 April 1803 
6 July 1803 

1 6 August 1803 


6 December 1795 
23 December 1796 
26 August 1799 
19 December 1808 

12 April 1827 


1 8 March 1827 

12 September 1800 
21 September 1800 
? c. 1800 

19 October 1801 

14 September 1800 


1 8 February 1800 

1 April 1800 

6 May 1800 

1 6 September 1800 
26 November 1800 

19 September 1803 

7 October 1803 

26 October 1803 

13 December 1803 

14 January 1804 

27 January 1804 
23 February 1804 
12 March 1804 

1 6 March 1804 

21 March 1804 
31 March 1804 

2 April 1804 
7 April 1804 

27 April 1804 
4 May 1804 

28 May 1804 

22 June 1804 
1 6 July 1804 

7 August 1804 
9 August 1804 
28 September 1804 

23 October 1804 

4 December 1804 

1 8 December 1804 
28 December 1804 

19 January 1805 
22 January 1805 

To HAYLEY, WILLIAM (contd.) 
25 April 1805 

17 May 1805 
4 June 1805 

27 November 1805 
ii December 1805 


18 January 1808 (two 

drafts ) 
18 February 1808 (third 

c. 1809 

1 1 October 1819 

10 November 1825 
i February 1826 

[? 1826] 
31 March 1826 
19 May 1826 

1 6 July 1826 
29 July 1826 
i August 1826 

27 January 1827 
February 1827 

[? February 1827] 
15 March 1827 

25 April 1827 
3 July 1827 

ii October 1825 
? February 1826 




October 1791 


l6 Au S^^ *799 
23 August 1 799 


9 Junei8i8 

8 September 1815 


May 1807 

18 December 1808 

7 October 1801 

17 April 1800 
July 1800 


FROM K*vsus* 9 WILLEY 
October 1791 

29 July 1815 


29 July 1 826 


8 July-20 August 1803 
22 January 1 805 

12 May-25 December 

5 July 1805 

7 September 1805 

3 March 1806 
30 June 1 806 

To BUTTS, THOMAS (contd.) 3 March 1810 

9 September 1806 14 April 1810 

15 October 1806 30 June 1810 
29 January 1807 14 July 1810 

3 March 1807 21 September 1810 

2 June 1807 1 8 December 1 8 1 o 

13 July 1807 12 August 1818 

6 October 1807 

14 January 1808 

29 February 1808 To LINNELL, JOHN 

29 July 1808 12 August 1818 

3 November 1808 September-December 

7 December 1808 1818 

7 April 1809 27 August 1819 

10 July 1809 30 December 1819 

10 August 1809 30 April 1821 

4 October 1809 i March 1822 
25 November 1809 29 July 1826 

16 January 1810 16 May 1829 


Information of John Scofield Speech of Counsellor Rose 

15 August 1803 ii January 1804 

Blake's Memorandum in 
August 1803 


To Thomas Butts [?] 
c. 1818 



Memorandum between Blake Subscribers to The Book of Job 

and Linnell October 1823-1833 

25 March 1823 -o . r ^ /^ i.* j 

^ Receipt for the Copyright and 

Accounts between Blake and Plates 

Linnell 14 July 1826 
March i823~November 

15 August 1827 


FIFTY years have passed since the publication of The 
Letters of William Blake, edited by the late A. G. B. Russell 
and made the more attractive by the inclusion of Freder- 
ick Tatham's memoir of Blake, which had not been 
printed before. Since 1906 further letters have been 
printed in various contexts, but no separate edition has 
been attempted. It has seemed to me for a long time 
that a new edition was called for, and I announced that 
such a book was in preparation at the end of my Blake 
Studies, published seven years ago. The delay in carrying 
out this project has not been due to idleness, but to the 
discouraging fact that a number of Blake's letters, which 
were missing in 1949, have still not been found in spite 
of prolonged efforts to unearth them. Hope of finding 
them has, for the present, been abandoned perhaps 
even now the Irony of Fate may operate by bringing 
them to light as soon as the opportunity of including 
them in this edition has passed by. 


JNTearly all the missing letters were addressed to William 
Hayley and were among thirty-five dispersed in an 
auction sale at Sotheby's in 1878, fetching no more than 
three or four pounds each. Eleven were bought by 
Bernard Quaritch, who disposed of them soon afterwards 
to Alexander Macmillan, an eager Blake collector and 
the publisher of Gilchrist's Life. Others were acquired 
by Frederick Locker-Lampson for the Rowfant Library. 
Most of the letters sold in 1878 were seen by Mrs. GU- 
christ, and she incorporated a selection of them in the 

second edition of her husband's Life, but nearly half the 
original documents have been lost to sight. Of the eleven 
acquired by Macmillan ten are missing. Present mem- 
bers of the Macmillan family have kindly answered my 
enquiries, but no clue as to the fate of these letters since 
1880 has been found. Enquiries addressed to a large 
number of libraries and other institutions in the United 
States have uncovered a few missing documents, and five 
which were in the Rowfant Library have recently been 
acquired by Harvard University for the Houghton 
Library, but altogether eighteen letters have still not 
been recovered and seven of these have never been 
printed at all except for brief extracts. Slight consolation 
for the partial failure of my search may be drawn from 
the fact that some of the unprinted letters must have been 
considered by Mrs. Gilchrist and so are unlikely to in- 
clude any of great importance. Even the text, however, 
of the eleven letters known only from the edition of 1880 
cannot be relied upon for accuracy, since Mrs. Gilchrist' s 
transcriptions do not conform to the standard of accuracy 
demanded by modern scholarship. 1 


With these exceptions all the letters from Blake known 
to have survived in their original form have been newly 
transcribed for this edition, either from the actual docu- 
ments or from photostatic reproductions, and it is be- 
lieved that texts as accurate as is humanly possible are 
now presented. Blake usually wrote a good and legible 
hand, and his peculiarities of spelling and use of capitals 

1 Seven letters still unprinted: 18 Feb. 1800; 19 Sept 1803; 1 6 July 1804; 
7 Aug. 1804; 9 Aug. 1804; 4Dec. 1804; 17 May 1805. Eleven letters known only 
in the Gilchrist text: 26 Nov. 1800- 26 Oct. 1803; 2 April 1804; 27 April 1804; 
4 May 1804; 28 May 1804; 23 Oct. 1804; 18 Dec. 1804; 22 Jan. 1805; 
4 June 1805, with one to Flaxman, ? 1800. Letters not checked from the 
original documents are here marked by an asterisk. 

have been preserved. Although it is not always possible 
to be quite certain of his intention, his use of capitals was, 
in general, so free that, when there is doubt a capital is 
more likely to have been intended than not. The habit 
is, moreover, so characteristic, both in manuscripts and 
in printed texts, that it is undoubtedly right to preserve 
them whenever possible. In 1906 Russell did not think 
so; he usually ignored this peculiarity, and corrected 
Blake's consistently eccentric spelling of certain words. 
Blake did not observe the usual custom of writing "i 
before e except after c", and very frequently omitted the 
final "e" in past participles. More often than not he used 
an ampersand. These and other minor oddities have been 
reproduced in this edition, though I have followed Russell 
in supplying punctuation where it seems to help the sense, 
even though Blake so frequently omitted it. To humour 
him in this respect seemed to place an unnecessary ob- 
stacle in the way of his readers, in spite of his insistence 
on the importance of "minute particulars 33 in art, if not 
in letters. 

The printing of a separate edition of an author's letters 
gives a great advantage over their inclusion only in col- 
lected writings the opportunity it affords of adding 
letters addressed to him, as well as other documents 
which are not strictly speaking letters and so would not 
usually find a place among them. Not many letters from 
Blake's correspondents have survived, but all that can be 
found have been included here. More numerous are the 
extraneous documents, such as Blake's accounts with 
Thomas Butts, his receipts for payments made by Butts 
and other patrons, documents connected with the trial 
for sedition in 1804, his manuscript index for the Songs of 
Innocence and of Experience, agreements and accounts kept 
by John Linnell in connexion with the engraving and 
marketing of the Illustrations of the Book of Job, and finally 
a letter written by George Richmond to Samuel Palmer 

about Blake's last hours. All these shed light on Blake's 
life and activities and are not easily available anywhere 
else, so that no apology is needed for their inclusion. 

A separate edition of letters can easily be overweighted 
with annotations, but it is hoped that the footnotes in this 
volume will not incur this charge. Some lightening of the 
burden has been achieved by adding an appendix in the 
form of a Register of Documents, where information is 
given concerning their physical form, their history and 
provenance, and the source of the text as printed. 


Blake's friendship must unquestionably have been a 
precious possession, but his feelings were hypersensitive 
when they touched his integrity as an artist, and he was 
too ready in consequence to take offence. Friendship 
was thus easily upset, and it may well be that some of his 
correspondents, who had started by keeping his letters, 
ended by destroying them when relations became clouded 
by disagreements. This may possibly explain the absence 
of letters to so close a friend as Thomas Stothard, 
draughtsman and book illustrator, who had known Blake 
from his boyhood; to John Johnson, the bookseller and 
publisher, who employed Blake as book illustrator over 
many years; and to Henry Fuseli, Blake's fellow-artist 
and admirer. We know from some of the letters that 
have been preserved how intimate and self-revealing 
Blake could be when writing to a friend of whose affection 
and understanding he felt secure. The best of Blake's 
letters are, indeed, among the most beautiful things he 
ever penned and could take an honoured place in any 
anthology of letters by men of genius. 

The one friend who retained Blake's affection un- 
clouded over more than thirty years was George Cum- 
berland, with whose name the series of letters printed 

here both begins and ends. Cumberland, born three 
years before Blake, belonged to a middle-class family, 
whose chief distinction was the production of Richard 
Cumberland, the dramatist, a cousin of George. Richard 
Denison Cumberland, George's elder brother, took holy 
orders not long before George obtained employment in 
the office of the Royal Exchange Assurance Company in 
1775. It is not known when George Cumberland and 
Blake first met; Blake's first extant letter to him, dated 
1 795, suggests that they had been friends for some time 
before this, and evidence contained in Blake's satire 
known as An Island in the Moon, probably written about 
1787, indicates that they were then already acquainted. 
It is even possible that the first suggestion of Blake's 
method of copper-plate etching for his Illuminated Books 
came from Cumberland. In 1 795 Cumberland was living 
near Egham in Surrey. He was much interested in science 
and the arts, and, with Blake's help, himself dabbled in 
drawing, etching and engraving. At a later date he was 
concerned in the project for the foundation of the National 
Gallery. He bought copies of the Illuminated Books and 
in 1827 tr i e d to interest his friends in Bristol, where he 
was then living, in the Illustrations of the Book of Job. 
Blake's last engraved plate, done shortly before his death, 
was for a small card bearing Cumberland's name sur- 
rounded by a delicate allegorical design. A print from 
this plate was inserted by Cumberland in a scrap-book * 
containing a series of prints from his own plates. One 
of these is a poem etched on metal, which may be a relic 
of his early interest in this method of "writing on copper", 
which he described in a letter to Maty's New Review in 

Blake owed to Cumberland an introduction to another 
early correspondent, the Rev. Dr. Trusler (1735-1820), 
who also lived near Egham at Englefield Green. This 

1 Now in my collection. 

L.W.B. B 

attempt to help Blake proved abortive, but it stimulated 
him to write two admirable and provocative letters, 
which Dr. Trusler must have passed on to Cumberland, 
since they have been preserved among the Cumberland 
papers in the British Museum. Trusler was an eccentric 
clergyman who studied medicine under John Hunter, 
established a business as a bookseller with the object of 
abolishing publishers, and cultivated art. He is best 
known as the compiler of Hogarth Moralized (1768), but 
was also author of numerous other writings, such as The 
Way to be Rich and Respectable and A Sure Way to Lengthen 
Life. Trusler 5 s mind was wholly antipathetic to Blake's, 
and they could never have come to terms. He marked 
the second letter, in which Blake made quite clear the 
difference in their outlooks, "Blake, dim'd with super- 
stition". His unpublished memoirs are in the Municipal 
Library at Bath, but the Deputy Librarian informs me 
that they contain no reference to Blake. 

John Flaxman (1755-1826), well known as a sculptor 
and author of several series of outline drawings illustrat- 
ing the works of Homer, Aeschylus, Hesiod and Dante, 
was introduced to Blake by Stothard and became a close 
friend. Their relations were strained for a time, when 
Blake suspected him of professional jealousy, but ther$ 
is no doubt that he was a sincere admirer of Blake, and 
did all that he could to help him professionally on many 
occasions. It was Flaxman who brought about contact 
between Blake and Hayley and so was responsible for 
one of the most important events in Blake's life his 
transference for three years to Felpham on the coast of 

William Hayley (1745-1820), esteemed by some of his 
contemporaries as "a true poet", survives in our minds 
today solely as the friend and well-meaning patron of 
Blake. His character and feeble achievements have been 
recorded in every book on Blake, but only in Morchard 

Bishop's Blake* s Hay ley (1951) does the quality of this 
remarkable but unhappy man really emerge. Though 
sentimental, vain, and often silly, he possessed a streak of 
nobility shown by his extraordinary generosity to his 
friends. He intended nothing but good towards Blake, 
but his insensitive patronage so offended Blake's self- 
respect that an explosion was inevitable. Blake left 
Felpham in 1803 with immense relief and still full of 
resentment, but the help given by Hayley at the trial for 
sedition at Chichester assizes in 1804 quite softened his 
heart and changed his feelings to an overpowering grati- 
tude. For the next two years, as his letters testify, no 
trouble was too great for him to undertake in helping 
Hayley with his Life of Romney, and his expressions of 
solicitude for Hayley's welfare and for that of his friend, 
Miss Harriet Poole, are obviously genuine. The missing 
letters, already mentioned, would have filled in further 
details of Blake's efforts to make amends for his ill-temper 
and their loss is the more to be regretted. It was certainly 
Hayley who briefed and paid a young barrister, Samuel 
Rose, to defend Blake at the trial. Rose, whose speech in 
court is printed here, was related to Cowper's nephew, 
John Johnson of Norfolk, and some record of his affairs 
is preserved in the Johnson family papers. Miss Barham 
Johnson, who is engaged on a study of her ancestor, tells 
me that Rose, although connected with the law, was 
somewhat unreliable in money matters, though his lapses 
were perhaps due to serious ill health, for he died of 
tuberculosis in December 1804, eleven months after the 

Thomas Butts (d. 1845), another friend whose relations 
with Blake remained untroubled over a long period, had 
first met Blake about 1793, through what connexions is 
not known. He was so consistent a buyer of Blake's works 
that he was referred to as "my employer", and the Butts 
collection became so large that it was, throughout the 

nineteenth century, the chief repository of Blake's artistic 
output. To Butts Blake was always able to open his heart, 
and it was Butts's regular payments, as will be seen from 
the accounts and receipts printed here, that kept the wolf 
from his door. Butts lived in Fitzroy Square, near enough 
to Blake for him sometimes to take his payment in the 
form of coals, and he even sought to increase Blake's 
income by engaging him to instruct himself and his son, 
young Tommy, in drawing and engraving. Both Blake 
and posterity owe a debt to Thomas Butts which cannot 
be computed, though the only letter from Butts to Blake 
which has been preserved suggests that Butts was a dumb 
admirer of genius, which he could see but did not quite 
understand. Butts has often been referred to as "Muster- 
master General", and indeed his family seems to have led 
Gilchrist to believe that he enjoyed this title, but Mr. 
G. E. Bentley jr. has found by reading the Muster-master 
General's papers in the Public Record Office that he 
was no more than chief clerk in the office and wrote 
the letters concerned with the enlistment of soldiers, 
sharing this work with his two sons. His salary for this 
employment was very modest and it is difficult to see 
how he could afford the generous patronage he gave to 
Blake unless he had other sources of income. He did, 
in fact, die a wealthy man and it seems probable that 
he was a judicious investor in commodities and real 
estate. 1 

John Linnell (1792-1882), the friend and benefactor 
of Blake's later years, first visited him in 1818 in the 
company of George Cumberland junior, whose father 
was then living in Bristol Although Linnell was him- 
self only a young and struggling painter, he encouraged 
Blake with an understanding solicitude, and ensured that 
he did not suffer want during the last nine years of his 

1 Mr. Bentley has kindly allowed me to anticipate publication of his 

life by setting him to work on his two greatest achieve- 
ments the illustrations to the Book of Job and Dante's 
Divine Comedy. 

Blake's letters to Linnell do not rise to the poetic 
heights of some of those to Butts; they illustrate rather 
the day-to-day dealings of an older man with a young, 
but tactful, admirer. LinnelPs generosity and foresight 
are too well known to need further emphasis. 

Blake's remaining letters were addressed to casual cor- 
respondents. These were Willey Reveley, for whom Blake 
made some engravings in 1791; James Blake, his elder 
brother, who kept a hosier's shop; Sir Richard Phillips 
(1767-1840), publisher, and editor of the Monthly Maga- 
zine; Ozias Humphry (1742-1810), miniaturist, for whom 
he described in three versions, now first recorded and 
accurately transcribed, his painting of "The Last Judg- 
ment"; Josiah Wedgwood the younger (1769-1843)5 for 
whom he engraved plates for a catalogue of pottery, 
Maria JDenman, sister of Mrs, Flaxman; and lastly 
Dawson Turner (1775-1858) of Yarmouth, banker; 
botanist, and antiquary, whose momentary interest in 
Blake had been aroused by Humphry. 


My first enquiries for Blake's letters made many years 
ago at the Wedgwood Museum attached to the Etruria 
works in Staffordshire were greeted with the reply that 
the firm possessed a number. Unfortunately only one of 
these proved on examination to have been written by the 
Blake in whom I was interested. All the others were from 
the pen of a namesake whose writing and signature closely 
resembled those of his more famous contemporary. This 
William Blake is probably to be identified with the 
attorney whose name misled Miss Ruth Lowery into 
believing that the other Blake had at one time been 

indebted to Flaxman to the tune of ^loo. 1 A number 
of other irrelevant documents have come at various times 
into the American auction rooms with attributions to 
Blake, sometimes on the strength only of the initials W. B. 
There was even another engraver, once employed by 
Cumberland, who bore the same name, 2 and it is neces- 
sary to exercise some caution in accepting any newly 
discovered document as coming from the pen of the 


Any book concerning Blake lends itself particularly 
well to illustration owing to the wealth of material avail- 
able. Considerations of expense, however, set a limit to 
the number that can be included, and the twelve in this 
volume have therefore been chosen primarily for their 
close relation to the text. 

The frontispiece is a little-known portrait of Blake in 
his old age painted on ivory by John Linnell. Although 
it was copied as an engraving by Jeens for Gilchrist's 
Life of Blake, 1863 and 1880, it may still be regarded as 
little-known, the copy being so unlike the original It is 
a delicate and attractive miniature in pale colours and 
is a much more convincing image of Blake than Jeens's 
version. It is reproduced by permission of the Syndics 
of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 

A later portrait of Blake is reproduced from a drawing 
in my collection made for Schiavonetti's engraving used 
as frontispiece for Blair's Grave, 1808. The drawing, done 
by pen and tinted with water colours, was presumably 
made by the engraver himself from the portrait by 
Thomas Phillips now in the National Portrait Gallery. 
This has not been reproduced before. 

1 See Miss Lowery's Windows of the Morning, 1940, p. 50, and my Blake 
Studies, 1949, p. 24. 

2 See Blake Studies, p. 54. 

Blake's two letters to the Reverend Dr. Trusler are 
concerned with his failure to meet his customer's views 
on the composition of pictures. It seems that Blake was 
required to produce a series of "Moral Paintings", but 
his first attempt, representing "Malevolence", did not 
meet with approval. Blake defended his ideas with some 
asperity, and told Cumberland that he had painted a 
picture "in his best manner", though it can now be seen 
to be by no means so good as he claimed. The water 
colour has never been reproduced before, but is of interest 
as evidence of the disastrous effect of outside interference 
on Blake's powers of invention. When I first saw it, it 
was in the possession of Mrs. Gilchrist's daughter, Mrs. 
Frend, and is now in the United States. A photograph 
was kindly supplied by Dr. Jacob Schwartz, who had 
obtained the picture from Mrs. Frend's nephew. 

The Felpham period is illustrated by a portrait of 
Hayley from a mezzotint by J. Jacobe, 1779, after Rom- 
ney; by Herbert H. Gilchrist's attractive drawing of 
Blake's cottage done for his father's Life, 1880; and by 
the broadside ballad, Little Tom the Sailor, from an original 
impression in my collection. Blake's work for Hayley's 
Life of Romney is represented by his sepia drawing after 
Romney's picture "The Shipwreck", which was the only 
subject from his hand included in the volume. The draw- 
ing is in the British Museum. 

The long description of his elaborate water-colour 
drawing of "The Last Judgment", written by Blake for 
Ozias Humphry, is necessarily accompanied by a repro- 
duction of the picture which is still at Petworth House, 
Sussex. It is included by the courtesy of Mr. John 

R. H. Cromek's ill-natured letter to Blake, sent with 
the rejected design for the dedication "To The Queen" 
in Blair's Grave, 1808, is well known. The design itself, 
however, is unfamiliar and is therefore included here, 

though its delicate beauty cannot be fully seen in a 
reproduction. The colours are pale, and it has suffered 
from soiling before finding its final resting place in the 
British Museum. The Trustees of the British Museum 
have also allowed the inclusion of Blake's miniature of 
Butts with those of his wife and son. 
f. Blake's final years are illustrated by the engraved card 
done for Cumberland, and his last painting in tempera, 
"Ugolino in Prison", from the original in my collection. 
This subject is represented in the series of drawings for 
Dante's Divine Comedy only by a rough pencil sketch, but 
Blake chose it for a highly finished painting on a panel, 
the only one he is known to have made at this time. He 
told Linnell that his "Wife alone was answerable for its 
having existed in any finished state", and it is a remark- 
able performance for a sick man of nearly seventy, done 
within a few months of his death. The beauty of the 
colouring is lost in the reproduction, but the composition 
can be seen to be similar to that of a number of designs 
made at various times after 1793, when it was among the 
engravings for The Gates of Paradise. The subject seems 
almost to have obsessed Blake's mind, but this final 
version is unique in showing two angels floating over the 
grim figures on the floor of the prison cell. These sym- 
bolise for Blake the ultimate forgiveness of sins even for 
so guilty a man as Ugolino, Blake differing entirely in 
this attitude from the author of the Inferm* He seldom 
illustrated literally, preferring to add his own glosses to 
the ideas of other authors, / 

Lastly, an example of Blake's handwriting is given by 
a facsimile of a short letter written to Hayley during his 
joyous anticipation of the pleasures to be enjoyed at 
Felpham. This letter is one of those recently acquired by 
the Houghton Library, and is reproduced by permission 
of Harvard University. 


During the past twenty years I have been under 
obligations to the curators of numerous libraries and 
institutions, chiefly in the United States of America, for 
their patient replies to my enquiries. I am indebted also 
to the private owners and institutions who have provided 
me -with photostats of manuscripts in their keeping. Their 
names will be found in the Register of Documents at the 
end of the book, and I wish to record here my gratitude. 
Without their co-operation the printing of an accurate 
text could not have been achieved. 




l8 OCTOBER 1791 

M r Reveley's Compt ts to M r Blake: if he wishes to 
engrave any of M r . Pars's drawings for the Antiquities of 
Athens, 1 & can do them by the end of January M r 
Reveley will be glad to [send] some to him. 

Great Titchfield St. 
Oct. 1 8 



M r Blake's Comp ts to M r Reveley: tho full of work [as 
M r R said he should be by then the plates were put in 
hand deL] he is glad to embrace the offer of engraving 
such beautiful things & will do what he can by the end 
of January. 2 

1 Reveley was engaged in editing vol. Ill of James Stuart's and Nicholas 
Revett's The Antiquities of Athens, published in 1794. The first volume had 
appeared in 1 762, James Basire being the chief engraver. The second volume 
was edited by William Newton for Stuart's widow and is dated 1787; one 
engraver was Jas. Newton. Some of the drawings in the third volume were 
by William Pars, younger brother of Henry Pars, to whose drawing school 
Blake went in 1767 for five years. William Pars had been in 1764 with 
Dr. Richard Chandler and Nicholas Revett to Asia Minor, returning by 
Athens, on an antiquarian expedition financed by the Dilettanti Society. 

2 Four plates, nos. XXI-XXIV, in vol. Ill of The Antiquities of Athens, 
were engraved by Blake after drawings by William Pars from the sculptures 
on the frieze of the porticus of the Temple of Theseus; they represent the 
battle of the Centaurs and Lapithae, The engravings are dated April 3, 



6 DECEMBER 1795 

/ Lambeth 

6 Decemb r 1795 
Dear Sir, 

I congratulate you, not on any achievement, because 
I know that the Genius that produces these Designs can 
execute them in any manner, notwithstanding the pre- 
tended Philosophy which teaches that Execution is the 
power of One & Invention of Another 1 Locke says it [is 
the] same faculty that Invents Judges, & I say he who 
[can] Invent can Execute. 

As to laying on the Wax, it is as follows : 2 

Take a cake of Virgin's Wax 3 (I don't know what 
animal produces it) & stroke it regularly over the surface 
of a warm Plate (the Plate must be warm enough to melt 
the Wax as it passes over), then immediately draw a 
feather over it & you will get an even surface which, 
when cold, will receive any impression minutely. 

Note: The danger is in not covering the Plate all over. 

Now You will, I hope, shew all the family of Antique 
Borers that Peace & Plenty & Domestic Happiness is the 
Source of Sublime Art, & prove to the Abstract Philoso- 
phers that Enjoyment & not Abstinence 4 is the food of 


Yours sincerely, 

Will Blake 

1 cp. "Execution is only the result of Invention" (Public Address, Poetry 
and Prose 9 1939, p. 625) and other similar opinions of Blake. 

2 These instructions refer to the process of transferring a drawing to a 
metal plate for engraving. Blake had engraved eight plates after Cumber- 
land's designs for his Thoughts on Outline. The plates are dated 1794-5; the 
book was published in 1796, and contained sixteen other plates engraved 
by Cumberland from his own designs. 

3 i.e. purified bees' wax or candle wax. 

4 cp. Blake's lines: 

Abstinence sows sand all over 
The ruddy limbs & flaming hair. 

Poetry and Prose^ 1939, p. 99- 


Health to M rs Cumberland & family. 

The pressure necessary to roll off the lines is the same as 
when you print, or not quite so great. I have not been 
able to send a proof of the bath x tho' I have done the 
corrections, my paper not being in order. 


23 DECEMBER 1796 

Dear Cumberland, 

I have lately had some pricks of conscience on account 
of not acknowledging your friendship to me [before del.] 
immediately on the receit of your beautiful book. 2 I have 
likewise had by me all the summer 6 Plates which you 
desired me to get made for you; they have laid on my 
shelf, without speaking to tell me whose they were or that 
they were [there del.] at all & it was some time (when I 
found them) before I could divine whence they came or 
whither they were bound or whether they were to lie 
there to eternity. I have now sent them to you to be 
transmuted, thou real Alchymist! 3 

Go on. Go on. Such works as yours Nature & Provi- 
dence, the Eternal Parents, demand from their children: 
how few produce them in such perfection: how Nature 
smiles on them: how Providence rewards them. How all 
your Brethen say, The sound of his harp & his flute 
heard from his secret forest chears us to the labours of 
life, & we plow & reap forgetting our labour'. 

Let us see you sometimes as well as sometimes hear 
from you & let us often See your Works. 

1 Blake's engraving of "the bath", illustrating Anacreon, Ode LII, is 
plate 23 in Thoughts on Outline. It is dated Jan, i, 1795, though it should 
be dated 1796 to agree with the date of Blake's letter. 

2 Cumberland's Thoughts on Outline, London, 1796. 

8 There is no clue as to the identity of these six plates. 


Compliments to M rs Cumberland & Family. 

Yours in head & heart, 

Will Blake 

23 Decemb 3 " 1796 
a Merry Christmas 


To the Rev d D r Trusler 

Rev* Sir, 

I find more & more that my Style of Designing is a 
Species by itself, & in this which I send you have been 
compel!' d by my Genius or Angel to follow where he led; 
if I were to act otherwise it would not fulfill the purpose 
for which alone I live, which is, in conjunction with such 
men as my friend Cumberland, to renew the lost Art of 
th Greeks. 1 

fl attempted every morning for a fortnight together to 
follow your Dictate, but when I found my attempts were 
in vain, resolv'd to shew an independence which I know 
will please an Author better than slavishly following the 
track of another, however admirable that track may be. 
At any rate, my Excuse must be: I could not do other- 
wise; it was out of my power! / 
(JL know I begged of you to give me your Ideas, & 

1 Blake had learnt during his apprenticeship to value Greek art, probably 
through reading Winkelmann's Refactions on the Painting and Sculpture of the 
Greeks, London, 1765 (see Keynes, Blake Studies, 1948, p, 47). In 1809 he 
had included Greek art among the things that "are the extent of the human 
mind" (Descriptive Catalogue, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 610). Later, from a 
different point of view, he condemned Greek art as "Mathematic Form", 
whereas Gothic was "Living Form" (On Virgil, Poetry and Prose, p. 583). 
This was associated with the idea of the opposition between Reason and 
Imagination, Greece being additionally evil because, with Rome, it was a 
Warlike State, which "never can produce Art" (ibid. See also the sentences 
on the Laocoon group, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 580). 

water colour 1 799 

promised to build on them; here I counted without my 
host. I now find my mistake. 1 } 

The Design I have Sent Is: 

A Father, taking leave of his Wife & Child, Is watch'd 
by Two Fiends incarnate, with intention that when his 
back is turned they will murder the mother & her infant. 2 
If this is not Malevolence with a vengeance, I have never 
seen it on Earth; & if you approve of this, I have no doubt 
of giving you Benevolence with Equal Vigor, as also Pride 
& Humility, but cannot previously describe in words 
what I mean to Design, f^r fear I should Evaporate the 
Spirit of my Invention. ^But I hope that none of my 
Designs will be destitute of Infinite Particulars 3 which 
will present themselves to the Contemplator. And tho 3 I 
call them Mine, I know that they are not Mine, being 
of the same opinion with Milton when he says 4 That 
the Muse visits his Slumbers & awakes & governs his 
Song when Morn purples the EastJ & being also in the 
predicament of that prophet who says: I cannot go 
beyond the command of the Lord, to speak good or bad. 6 

If you approve of my Manner, & it is agreeable to 
you, I would rather Paint Pictures in oil 6 of the same 
dimensions than make Drawings, & on the same terms; 

1 It was this attempted interference by Trusler and others of his friends 
with his integrity as an artist that drove Blake's mind in upon itself and 
was responsible to a great extent for his isolation. This was symbolised by 
the "Comforters", or false friends, of Job. 

a This water-colour drawing formerly the property of Mrs, Alexander 
Gilchrist and later of her daughter, Mrs. Gilchrist Frend, is now in the 
United States, (it shows two assassins crouching behind a rock at the mouth 
of a cave and about to murder a young traveller, who, staff in hand, is 
parting from his wife and child. /Blake used the same theme in the design 
for plate 2 of Europe. 

* Blake frequently in his writings drew attention to the importance of 
"minute particulars" in all forms of art, e.g. "Labour well the Minute 
Particulars*' (Jerusalem, pi. 55, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 503). 

4 Paradise Lost, book vii, 11. 29, 30. 8 Numbers, xxiv. 13. 

6 Blake, in fact, never used an oily medium, discarding it in favour of 
tempera painting or "fresco", as he called them. For his opinions see "The 
Invention of a Portable Fresco", Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 590. 

L.W.B. G 33 

by this means you will have a number of Cabinet pictures, 
which I flatter myself will not be unworthy of a Scholar of 
Rembrandt l & Teniers, whom I have Studied no less 
than Rafael & Michael angelo. Please to send me your 
orders respecting this, & In my next Effort I promise 
more Expedition. 

I am, Rev d Sir, 

Your very humble serv* 

Will* Blake 
Hercules Build gs 

Aug st 1 6 1799 

6. TO DR. TRUSLER ,\ * 23 AUGUST 1799 


Rev* Sir, 

I really am sorry that you are falPn out with the 
Spiritual World, Especially if I should have to answer 
for it. (I feel very sorry that your Ideas & Mine on Moral 
Painting differ so much as to have made you angry with 
my method of Study. If I am wrong, I am wrong in good 
company?! I had hoped your plan comprehended All 
Species of this Art, & Expecially that you would not 
regret that Species which gives Existence to Every other, 
namely, Visions of Eternity. / You say that I want some- 
body to Elucidate my Ideas, But you ought to know 
that What is Grand is necessarily obscure to Weak men* 
That which can be made Explicit to the Idiot is not 
worth my care. The wisest of the Ancients considered 
what is not too Explicit as the fittest for Instruction, 
because it rouzes the faculties to act. I name Moses, 
Solomon, Esop, Homer, Plato, j 

1 Ten years later in A Descriptive Catalogue and elsewhere Blake con- 
demned the art of Rembrandt, together with that of Titian, Corregio, and 
Rubens, in favour of that of Rafael, Diirer, and Michelangelo (see Poetry 
and Prose, 1939, p. 592). 


But as you have favor 5 d me with your remarks on my 
Design, permit me in return to defend it against a mis- 
taken one, which i$, That I have supposed Malevolence 
without a Cause./ Is not Merit in one a Cause of Envy in 
another, & Sereiiity & Happiness & Beauty a Cause of 
Malevolence? But Want of Money & the Distress of A 
Thief can never be alledged as the Cause of his Thieving, 
for many honest people endure greater hardships with 
Fortitude. We must therefore seek the Cause elsewhere 
than in waiit of Money, for that is the Miser's passion, not 
the ThiePs.y 

I have therefore proved your Reasonings 111 propor- 
tion' d, which you can never prove my figures to be; they 
are those of Michael Angelo, Rafael & the Antique, & 
of the best living Models. I percieve that your Eye is 
perverted by Caricature Prints, which ought not to 
abound so much as they do. Fun I love, but too much Fun 
is of all things the most loathsom. Mirth is better than 
Fun, & Happiness is better than Mirth. I feel that a 
Man may be happy in This World. And^L know that 
This World Is a World of imagination & Vision. I see 
Every thing I paint In This World, but Every body does 
not see alike. To the Eyes of a Miser a Guinea is more 
beautiful than the Sun, & a bag worn with the use of 
Money has more beautiful proportions than a Vine filled 
with Grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy 
is in the Eyes of others only a Green thing that stands 
in the way. 1 Some See Nature all Ridicule & Deformity, 
& by these I shall not regulate my proportions; & Some 
Scarce see Nature at all. But to the Eyes of the Man of 
Imagination, Nature is Imagination itself. As a man is, 
So he Sees. As the Eye is formed, such are its Powers. 
You certainly Mistake, when you say that the Visions of 
Fancy are not to be found in This World. To Me This 

1 qp. "A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees" (Proverbs of 
Hell, Poetry and Pr ose > 1939, p. 183), 


World is all One continued Vision of Fancy or Imagina- 
tion, & I feel Flatter' d when I am told so^ What is it sets 
Homer, Virgil & Milton in so high a rank of Art? Why 
is the Bible more Entertaining & Instructive than any 
other book? Is it not because they are addressed to the 
Imagination, which is Spiritual Sensation, & but medi- 
ately to the Understanding or Reason? Such is True 
Painting, and such was alone valued by the Greeks & 
the best modern Artists. Consider what Lord Bacon says: 
"Sense sends over to Imagination before Reason have 
judged, & Reason sends over to Imagination before the 
Decree can be acted." See Advancem* of Learning, 
Part 2, P. 47 of first Edition. 1 

But I am happy to find a Great Majority of Fellow 
Mortals who can Elucidate My Visions, & Particularly 
they have been Elucidated by Children, who have taken 
a greater delight in contemplating my Pictures than I even 
hoped. ( Neither Youth nor Childhood is Folly or In- 
capacity. Some Children are Fools & so are some Old 
Men. But There is a vast Majority on the side of 
Imagination or Spiritual Sensation. ) 

To Engrave after another Painter is infinitely more 
laborious than to Engrave one's own Inventions. And of 
the size you require my price has been Thirty Guineas, 
& I cannot afford to do it for less. I had Twelve for the 
Head I sent you as a Specimen; 2 but after my own. designs 
I could do at least Six times the quantity of labour in the 
same time, which will account for the difference of price 
as also that Chalk Engraving is at least six times as 
laborious as Aqua tinta. I have no objection to Engrav- 
ing after another Artist. Engraving is the profession I 
was apprenticed to, & should never have attempted to 

1 Blake here seems to quote Bacon with approval, though he had anno- 
tated the Essays in an edition dated 1798 with disagreement and abuse (see 
Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 768). 

2 Perhaps the head of Euler, engraved for his Elements of Algebra, X797> or 
of Wright of Derby in The Monthly Magazine, vol. IV, 1798. 


live by any thing else, If orders had not come in for my 
Designs & Paintings, which I have the pleasure to tell 
you are Increasing Every Day. Thus If I am a Painter 
it is not to be attributed to Seeking after. But I am con- 
tented whether I live by Painting or Engraving. 

I am, Rev d Sir, your very obedient servant, 

William Blake 
13 Hercules Buildings 

August 23. 1799 


26 AUGUST 1799 

Dear Cumberland, 

I ought long ago to have written to you to thank you 
for your kind recommendation to D r Trusler, which, 
tho ? it has faiPd of success, is not the less to be re- 
member' d by me with Gratitude. 

I have made him a Drawing in my best manner; he 
had sent it back with a Letter full of Criticisms, in which 
he says It accords not with his Intentions, which are to 
Reject all Fancy from his Work. How far he Expects to 
please, I cannot tell. But as I cannot paint Dirty rags & 
old shoes where I ought to place Naked Beauty * or 
simple ornament, I despair of Ever pleasing one Class of 
Men. Unfortunately our authors of books are among 
this Class; how soon we Shall have a change for the better 
I cannot Prophecy. t) r Trusler says: "Tour Fancy, from 
what I have seen of it, & I have seen variety at M r 
Cumberland's, seems to be in the other world, or the 
World of Spirits, which accords not with my Intentions, 
which, whilst living in This World, Wish to follow the 

1 cp. "Art can never exist without Naked Beauty displayed" (Laocoon 
Group, Poetry and Prose, 1939, P 5& 1 )- 



Nature ofit"[ I could not help Smiling at the difference 
between the doctrines of D r Trusler & those of Christ. 
But, however, for his own sake I am sorry that a Man 
should be so enamour'd of Rowlandson's caricatures as 
to call them copies from life & manners, or fit Things for 
a Clergyman to write upon. 

/Pray let me intreat you to persevere in your Designing; 
it is the only source of Pleasure. All your other pleasures 
depend upon it. It is the Tree; your Pleasures are the 
Fruit. Your Inventions of Intellectual Visions are the 
Stamina of every thing you value. Go on, if not for 
your own sake, yet for ours, who love & admire your 
works; but, above all, For the Sake of the Arts. Do 
not throw aside for any long time the honour intended 
you by Nature to revive the Greek workmanship. 
I study your outlines 1 as usual, just as if they were 
antiques. *) 

C As to Myself, about whom you are so kindly Interested, 
I live by Miracle. I am Painting small Pictures from the 
Bible. For as to Engraving, in which art I cannot re- 
proach myself with any neglect, yet I am laid by in a 
corner as if I did not Exist, & Since my Young's Night 
Thoughts 2 have been published, Even Johnson & Fuseli 
have discarded my Graver. But as I know that He who 
I Works & has his health cannot starve, I laugh at Fortune 
& Go on & on. I think I foresee better Things than I 
have ever seen. My Work pleases my employer, 3 & I 
have an order for Fifty small Pictures at One Guinea each, 

1 Thoughts on Outline, London, 1 796. 

2 The Complaint and the Consolation; or, Night Thoughts^ by Edward Young. 
London: R. Edwards, 1797: folio, with 43 marginal illustrations designed 
and engraved by Blake. The publisher, Richard Edwards, had commis- 
sioned Blake to illustrate the poem and 537 water-colour drawings had been 
made. Only the first instalment of the book was issued, since there was not 
enough cfffiand to justify its continuation, and the engravings were, indeed, 
by no means Blake's best work. The drawings are now in the Print Room 
at the British Museum (see Keynes, Blake Studies, 1949, p. 56). 

8 Thomas Butts. 


which is Something better than mere copying after an- 
other artist. But above all, I feel myself happy & con- 
tented let what will come; having passed now near 
twenty years in ups & downs, I am used to them, & 
perhaps a little practise in them may turn out to benefit. 
It is now Exactly Twenty years since I was upon the 
ocean of business, 1 & Tho' I laugh at Fortune, I am 
perswaded that She Alone is the Governor of Worldly 
Riches, & when it is Fit She will call on me; till then I 
wait with Patience, in hopes that She is busied among my 
Friends. ) 

With ^Kline & My Wife's best compliments to Mr 8 
Cumberland, I remain, 

Yours sincerely, 

Will* Blake 
Hercules Buildings 

Aug st 26; 1799 


Recievd Dec r 14 1799 of M r Flaxman the Sum of Eight 
pounds Eight shillings for Engraving Three Plates For 
the Statue of Britannia 2 & Twelve Shillings & Eight 
pence for Copper 

Will* 1 Blake 
8. 8. o 

O. 12. 8 

9- o- 8 

1 Blake had completed his apprenticeship to the engraver, James Basire, 
in July 1 779, and had been working independently since that date. 

a These plates were engraved for Flaxman's A Letter to the Committee for 
raising The Naval Pillar, or Monument, London, 1799, 4. The frontispiece 
depicts "A Colossal Statue 230 feet high, proposed to be erected on Green- 
wich hill". The second plate shows various forms of monument erected in 
ancient times, and the third "A View of Greenwich Hospital with the 
Statue of Britannia on the Hill". 



[Extract from a letter to Hayley, to whom he sub- 
mitted an impression of the plate l of "The Death of 
Demosthenes" which] "has been approved by Mr Flax- 
man". [He hopes that the young sculptor] "will soon be 
well enough to make hundreds of designs both for the 
engraver and the sculptor". 


Dear Sir, 

With all possible Expedition I send you a proof of my 
attempt to Express your & our Much Beloved's Counten- 
ance. 2 Mr. Flaxman has seen it & approved of my now 
sending it to you for your remarks. Your Sorrows and 
your dear son's May Jesus and his Angels assuage & if it 
is consistent with his divine providence restore him to us 
& to his labours of Art & Science in this world. So prays 
a fellow sufferer & Your humble servant, 

Will m Blake 
Hercules Buildings, Lambeth 

i April 1800 

1 This plate was engraved for Hayley's An Essay on Sculpture, London, 4, 
1 800. Flaxman writing to Hayley on 29 January 1800 says: "I have delivered 
the drawing of Demosthenes to Mr Blake with the right orthography of the 
Dedication to Neptune". The letter is in the Fairfax Murray Collection, 
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. In my possession is Hayley's own copy 
of the Essay and inserted in it is his son's pencil sketch for "The Death of 
Demosthenes"; the base of the statue at which Demosthenes is lying is 
marked IIOZEIAA&NI, this having presumably been written in by 

2 An engraving from a drawing of a medallion portrait by Flaxman of 
Hayley's illegitimate son, Thomas Alphonso. Flaxman wrote to Hayley on 
26 March 1800: "It is equally surprising & unaccountable that you have 
had no further news of the engravings, for Mr Howard finished a beautiful 
drawing from the Medallion of my Friend Thomas I think four weeks ago, 
since which time it has been in the hands of Mr Blake & the copper plate 
from it is most likely done by this time, as well as that of the head of Pericles 



Thursday April 17 1800 
My dear Blake, 

You are very good to take such pains to produce 
a Resemblance of our dear disabled artist you have 
improved yr first plate a little, & I believe with a little 
more alteration it may be more like than the second 

The great & radical defect I conceive to be this the 
engraving is a Head 3 years older than the medallion 
the Features by being made longer & more sedate have lost 
the lively juvenility of 16 our dear Flaxman's medallion 
is very faithful to that time of Life , & certainly like tho I 
cannot say I ever thought it a very very strong similitude of 
the Individual, 

Truth, precision, & Force of character is that ex- 
quisite & subtle essence of art, which is so apt to escape 
from the finest & ablest Hand in the formation of Por- 
traits, of whatever materials they are formed. 

Romney, who was so marvellously happy in several, yet 
has failed egregiously in many; & so, I apprehend, has 
every modern artist from the Revival of Art to the present 
Hour perhaps we should think so also of the antients if 
we saw all their portraits & the originals, altho yr great 
Connoisseurs presume to say, These said antients were 
far superior to the moderns in seizing this subtle Truth of 
character, particularly on their Gems & Medals. 

But to speak of still farther alterations in yr first plate 
would it not give a little younger appearance to shorten 
the space between the nose & the upper lip a little more 
by representing the mouth rather more open, in the act 

but perhaps you are not acquainted with Mr Blake's direction? it is No. 13 
Hercules Buildings near the Asylum, Surrey side of Westminster Bridge" 
(Fairfax Murray Collection). The engraving was published in Hayley's 
Essay on Sculpture. 


of speaking, which appears to me the Expression of the 
medallion? I submit the point to you & our dear Flax- 
man with proper deference to yr superior judgement; as I do 
the following Question whether the making the Dot at 
the corner of the mouth a little deeper, & adding a darker 
Touch also at the Bottom of the Eye would add a little 
gay juvenility to the Features without producing (what I 
by all means wish to avoid) a Grin or a Smirk In short 
I .wish the character of the engraving to harmonise a little 
more, than it does at present, with the following verses 
towards the conclusion of the Poem, which as you are a 
kind-hearted Brother of Parnassus, you will forgive my in- 
serting in this letter to explain my meaning to you 
"That youth of fairest Promise, fair as May, 
Pensively tender, and benignly gay, 
On thy Medallion still retains a Form 
In Health exulting, & with pleasure warm. 
Teach Thou my Hand, with mutual love, to trace 
His Mind, as perfect, as thy lines his Face! 
For Nature in that Mind 3 ' &c 

You will have the goodness not to shew these verses to 
any one, except to our dear Flaxman, who will, I know, 
kindly assist you in yr endeavours to catch the exact 
cast of character, that I wish you to seize I have to 
thank Heaven (as I do with my whole Heart) for having 
been able to gratify this dear departing angel with a sight of 
his own Portrait united to the completion of a long, & severely 
interrupted work; which He most tenderly pressed me to 
complete & which nothing I believe but his wishes could 
have enabled my wounded spirit to pursue under the 
Heart-rending affliction of seeing a child so justly be- 
loved perishing by slow Tortures. His Life may probably not 
last many days accept our united Benedictions & believe 
me dear Blake 

your very sincere Friend 

W. H. 


Dear Sir, 

I am very sorry for your immense loss, 1 which is a 
repetition of what all feel in this valley of misery & happi- 
ness mixed. I send the Shadow of the departed Angel 2 : 
hope the likeness is improved. The lip I have again 
lessened as you advised & done a good many other soften- 
ings to the whole. I know that our deceased friends are 
more really with us than when they were apparent to our 
mortal part. Thirteen years ago I lost a brother 3 & with 
his spirit I converse daily & hourly in the Spirit & See 
him in my remembrance in the regions of my Imagina- 
tion. I hear his advice & even now write from his Dictate. 
Forgive me for Expressing to you my Enthusiasm which I 
wish all to partake of Since it is to me a Source of Im- 
mortal Joy: even in this world by it I am the companion 
of Angels. May you continue to be so more & more & to 
be more & more perswaded that every Mortal loss is an 
Immortal Gain. The Ruins of Time builds Mansions in 
Eternity. I have also sent A Proof of Pericles 4 for your 
Remarks, thanking you for the Kindness with which you 
Express them & feeling heartily your Grief with a brother's 

I remain, Dear Sir, Your humble Servant 

William Blake 
Lambeth. May 6. 1800 

1 The death of Thomas Alphonso Hayley on 2 May 1800. 

8 The engraving already mentioned. 

8 His younger brother, Robert, who died in February 1787 (see Keynes, 
Blake Studies, 1949, p. 3). 

4 An engraving of "Pericles", from a bust, was used as frontispiece to 
Hayley's An Essay on Sculpture, London, 1800. 


From Thomas Hayley to Wm Blake l 

Accept my gentle visionary Blake, 
Sublimely fanciful & kindly mild, 

Accept and fondly keep for Friendship's sake 
This favoured vision, my poetic Child. 

Rich in more Grace than Fancy ever won 
To thy most tender mind this Book will be 

For it belonged to my departed son. 
So from an Angel it descends to Thee. 


Dear Cumberland, 

I have to congratulate you on your plan for a National 
Gallery 2 being put into Execution. All your wishes shall 
in due time be fulfilled; the immense flood of Grecian 
light & glory which is coming on Europe will more than 
realize our warmest wishes. Your honours will be un- 
bounded when your plan shall be carried into Execution 
as it must be if England continues a Nation. I hear that 
it is now in the hands of Ministers, That the King shews 
it great Countenance & Encouragement, that it will soon 
be before Parliament, & that it must be extended & en- 
larged to take in Originals both of Painting & Sculpture 

1 Written to accompany a copy of the tenth edition of Hayley's Triumphs 
of Temper sent by Hayley to Blake. This copy was seen by J. R. Smith, who 
printed the verses in a slightly different form in his Nollekms and his Times, 
1828, vol. II, pp. 465-6. In this version the lines are signed: W. H. July, 

2 Cumberland was among those who were active in promoting the foun- 
dation of a National Gallery, but it was not until 1824 that the nucleus of 
the Gallery was formed by the purchase of the Angerstein collection of 
thirty-eight pictures. 


mezzotint by Jacobe after Romney 1779 

by considering every valuable original that is brought 
into England or can be purchased Abroad as its objects 
of Acquisition. Such is the Plan as I am told & such 
must be the plan if England wishes to continue at all 
worth notice; as you have yourself observed only now, we 
must possess Originals as well as France or be Nothing. 

Excuse, I intreat you, my not returning Thanks at the 
proper moment for your kind present. No perswasion 
could make my stupid head believe that it was proper 
for me to trouble you with a letter of meer compliment 
& Expression of thanks. I begin to Emerge from a Deep 
pit of Melancholy, Melancholy without any real reason 
for it, a Disease which God keep you from & all good 
men. Our artists of all ranks praise your outlines & 
wish for more. Flaxman is very warm in your com- 
mendation & more and more of A Grecian. M r Hayley 
has lately mentioned your Work on outline in Notes to 
[Epistles on Sculpture del.] an Essay on Sculpture in Six 
Epistles to John Flaxman. I have been too little among 
friends which I fear they will not Excuse & I know not 
how to apologize for. Poor Fuseli, sore from the lash of 
Envious tongues, praises you & dispraises with the same 
breath; he is not naturally good natured, but he is arti- 
ficially very ill natured, yet even from him I learn the 
Estimation you are held in among artists & connoisseurs. 

I am still Employ 'd in making Designs & little Pictures 
with now & then an Engraving & find that in future to 
live will not be so difficult as it has been. It is very 
Extraordinary that London in so few years from a City 
of meer Necessaries or at l[e]ast a commerce of the 
lowest order of luxuries should have become a City of 
Elegance in some degree & that its once stupid inhabit- 
ants should enter into an Emulation of Grecian manners. 
There are now, I believe, as many Booksellers as there 
are Butchers & as many Printshops as of any other trade. 
We remember when a Print shop was a rare bird in 


London & I myself remember when I thought my pursuits 
of Art a kind of criminal dissipation & neglect of the 
main chance, which I hid my face for not being able 
to abandon as a Passion which is forbidden by Law & 
Religion, but now it appears to be Law & Gospel too, 
at least I hear so from the few friends I have dared to 
visit in my stupid Melancholy. Excuse this communi- 
cation of sentiments which I felt necessary to my repose 
at this time. I feel very strongly that I neglect my Duty 
to my Friends, but It is not want of Gratitude or Friend- 
ship but perhaps an Excess of both. 

Let me hear of your welfare. Remember My & My 
Wife's Respectful Compliments to Mrs Cumberland & 

& believe me to be for Ever 


William Blake 
13 Hercules Buildings 

2 July 1800 


Mv Dearest Friend, 

/It is to you I owe All my present Happiness, It is to 
you I owe perhaps the Principal Happiness of my life. I 
have presum'd on your friendship in staying so long away 
& not calling to know of your welfare, but hope now 
every thing is nearly completed for our removal to 
Felpham, that I shall see you on Sunday, as we have 
appointed Sunday afternoon to call on Mrs* Flaxman at 
Hampstead. I send you a few lines, which I hope you 
will Excuse. And As the time is arriv'd when Men shall 
again converse in Heaven & walk with Angels, I know 
you will be pleased with the Intention, & hope you will 
forgive the Poetry. J 


To My Dearest Friend, John Flaxman, these lines: 

I bless thee, O Father of Heaven & Earth, that ever I 
saw Flaxman' s face. 

Angels stand round my Spirit in Heaven, the blessed of 
Heaven are my friends upon Earth. 

When Flaxman was taken to Italy, Fuseli was given to me 
for a season, 

And now Flaxman hath given me Hayley his friend to be 
mine, such my lot upon Earth. 

Now my lot in the Heavens is this, Milton lov'd me in 
childhood & shew'd me his face. 

Ezra came with Isaiah the Prophet, but Shakespeare in 
riper years gave me his hand; 

Paracelsus & Behmen l appear' d to me, terrors appeared 
in the Heavens above 

And in Hell beneath, & a mighty & awful change threat- 
ened the Earth. 

The American War 2 began. All its dark horrors passed 
before my face 

Across the Atlantic to France. Then the French Revolu- 
tion 3 commenced in thick clouds, 

And My Angels have told me that seeing such visions I 
could not subsist on the Earth, 

But by my conjunction with Flaxman, who knows to 
forgive Nervous Fear. 

I remain, for Ever Yours, 

William Blake 

Be so kind as to Read & then seal the Inclosed & send 
it on its much beloved Mission. 

1 cp. "Any man of mechanical talents may, from the writings of Paracelcus 
or Jacob Behman, produce ten thousand volumes of equal value with 
Swedenborg's, and from those of Dante or Shakespear an infinite number" 
(Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 190). 

2 The subject of Blake's America a Prophecy, 1793. 

8 cp. "The dead brood over Europe, the cloud and vision descends over 
chearful France", the first line of Blake's poem, The French Revolution, 1791 
(Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 166). 




Mv Dearest Friend, 

jfl hope you will not think we could forget your Services 
to us, or any way neglect to love & remember with 
affection even the hem of your garment;/we indeed 
presume on your kindness in neglecting to have calFd on 
you since my Husband's first return from Felpham. 1 We 
have been incessantly busy in our great removal; but can 
never think of going without first paying our proper duty 
to you & M r Flaxman. (We intend to call on Sunday 
afternoon in Hampstead, to take farewell, All things 
being now nearly completed for our setting forth on 
Tuesday Morning; it is only Sixty Miles, & Lambeth was 
On[e] Hundred, 2 for the terrible desart of London was 
between. My husband has been obliged to finish several 
things necessary to be finished before our migration; the 
Swallows call us, fleeting past our window at this mo- 
ment, f O how we delight in talking of the pleasure we 
shall have in preparing you a summer bower at Felpham, 
& we not only talk, but behold! the Angels of our journey 
have inspired a song to you:) 

To My Dear Friend, M rs Anna Flaxman. 

This Song to the flower of Flaxman's joy, 
To the blossom of hope, for a sweet decoy: 
Do all that you can or all that you may, 
To entice him to Felpham & far away; 

1 Blake first visited Hayley at Felpham in order to perfect his engraved 
medallion of Thomas Alphonso in July 1800, and went there again in 
August. He moved to his cottage in Felpham on 18 September (see Mona 
Wilson's Life of Blake, 1948, p. 132). 

2 i.e. from Hampstead. 

Away to Sweet Felpham, for Heaven is there; 
The Ladder of Angels descends thro 5 the air; 1 
On the Turret 2 its spiral does softly descend. 
Thro' the village then winds, at My Got it does end. 

You stand in the village & look up to heaven; 
The precious stones glitter on flights seventy seven; 
And My Brother is there, & My Friend & Thine 
Descend & Ascend with the Bread & the Wine. 

The Bread of sweet Thought & the Wine of Delight 
Feeds the Village of Felpham by day & by night; 
And at his own door the bless 5 d Hermit 3 does stand. 
Dispensing Unceasing to all the whole Land. 

W. Blake 

Recieve my & my husband's love & affection, & believe 
me to be Yours affectionately, 

Catherine Blake 

H B Lambeth 
14 Sep r 1800 


Leader of My Angels, 

My Dear & too careful & over joyous Woman has 
Exhausted her strength to such a degree with expectation 
& gladness added to labour in our removal that I fear it 

will be Thursday before we can get away from this 

City. I shall not be able to avail myself of the assistance 

1 Probably an allusion to the water-colour drawing of "Jacob's Ladder", 
which was made about this time. 

2 The Turret of Hayley's house in Felpham. 

8 The Hermit of Eartham had been Hayley's nickname for himself. 

L.W.B. D 49 

of Bruno's fairies. 1 But I Invoke the Good Genii that 
Surround Miss Poole's Villa to shine upon my journey 
thro the Petworth road which by your fortunate advice 
I mean to take; but whether I come on Wednesday or 
Thursday That Day shall be marked on my calendar 
with a Star of the first magnitude. 

Eartham will be my first temple & altar. My wife is 
like a flame of many colours of precious jewels whenever 
she hears it named. Excuse my haste & recieve my 
hearty Love & Respect. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Your Sincere 

William Blake 
H. B. Lambeth 
Sept 1 6. 1800 

My fingers Emit sparks of fire with Expectation of my 
future labours, 


V*- '* 

f)ear Sculptor of Eternity, 

We are safe arrived at our Cottage, which is more 
beautiful than I thought it, & more convenient. It is a 
perfect Model for Cottages &, I think, for Palaces of 
Magnificence, only Enlarging, not altering its propor- 
tions, & adding ornaments & not principals. Nothing 
can be more Grand than its Simplicity & Usefulness. 
Simple without Intricacy, it seems to be the Spontaneous 
Effusion of Humanity, congenial to the wants of Man. 
No other formed House can ever please me so well; nor 
shall I ever be perswaded, I believe, that it can be im- 
proved either in Beauty or Use. ) 

Mr. Hayley reciev'd us with nis usual brotherly affec- 
tion. I have begun to work, pelpham is a sweet place for 

1 Gould this be a reference to the writings of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), 
Italian heretic? There was also a pony named Bruno, which Blake after- 
wards rode. 


. J4-&-. 


**** #F<r>?+a 

^L &-S/**~ ^A~ ^r/^y ^ 



* '/* f - * "I'.tfiT 1 ) 

f > * 4a **^iI 

1 6 September 1800 

Study, because it is more Spiritual than London. Heaven 
opens here on all sides her golden Gates; her windows are 
not obstructed by vapours; voices of Celestial inhabitants 
are more distinctly heard, & their forms more distinctly 
seen, & my Cottage is also a Shadow of their houses. 
My Wife & Sister I are both well, courting Neptune for 
an Embrace^ 

4Our Journey was very pleasant; & tho we had a great 
deal of Luggage, No Grumbling, All was Chearfulness & 
Good Humour on the Road, & yet we could not arrive at 
our Cottage before half past Eleven at night, owing to the 
necessary shifting of our Luggage from one Chaise to 
another; for we had Seven Different Chaises, & as many 
different drivers. We set out between Six & Seven in 
the Morning of Thursday^ with Sixteen heavy boxes & 
portfolios full of prints.yAnd Now Begins a New life, 
because another covering of Earth is shaken off. I am 
more famed in Heaven for my works than I could well 
concieve. In my Brain are studies & Chambers fill'd 
with books & pictures of old, which I wrote & painted 
in ages of Eternity before my mortal life; & those works 
are the delight & Study of Archangels. Why, then, 
should I be anxious about the riches or fame of mortality. 
The Lord our father will do for us & with us according 
to his Divine will for our Good) 

c 'You, O Dear Flaxman, are a Sublime Archangel, My 
Friend & Companion from Eternity; in the Divine bosom 
in our Dwelling place. I look back into the regions of 
Reminiscence & behold our ancient days before this 
Earth appear' d in its vegetated mortality to my mortal 
vegetated Eyes. 2 I see our houses of Eternity, which can 

1 Catherine Blake, the youngest member of the family. 

2 cp. Jerusalem, pi. 77: Imagination, the real & eternal World of which 
this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow, & in which we shall live in 
our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies 
are no more. 


never be separated, tho 5 our Mortal vehicles shou!4 
stand at the remotest corners of heaven from each otherj 

Farewell, My Best Friend. Remember Me & My Wife 
in Love & Friendship to our Dear Mrs. Flaxman, whom 
we ardently desire to Entertain beneath our thatched 
roof of rusted gold, & believe me for ever to remain 
Your Grateful & Affectionate, 

William Blake 
Sept r 21, 1800 

Sunday Morning 


Dear Friend of My Angels, 

We are safe arrived at our Cottage without accident 
or hindrance, tho' it was between Eleven & Twelve 
O'Clock at night before we could get home, owing to the 
necessary shifting of our boxes & portfolios from one 
Chaise to another. We had Seven different Chaises & 
as many different drivers. All upon the road was chear- 
fulness & welcome; tho' our luggage was very heavy 
there was no grumbling at all. We travePd thro' a most 
beautiful country on a most glorious day. (Our Cottage 
is more beautiful than I thought it, & also more con- 
venient, for tho' small it is well proportion'd, & if I 
should ever build a Palace it would be only My Cottage 
Enlarged. Please to tell M rs Butts that we have dedi- 
cated a Chamber for her service, & that it has a very fine 
view of the Sea. M r Hayley reciev'd me with his usual 
brotherly affection. My Wife & Sister are both very well, 
& courting Neptune for an Embrace, whose terrors this 
morning made them afraid, but whose mildness is often 
Equal to his terrors. The Villagers of Felpham are not 
meer Rustics; they are polite & modest. Meat is cheaper 


from a drawing by Herbert Gilchrist 1880 

than in London, but the sweet air & the voices of winds, 
trees & birds, & the odours of the happy ground, makes 
it a dwelling for immortals. Work will go on here with 
God speed./ A roller & two harrows lie before my 
window. I met a plow * on my first going out at my gate 
the first morning after my arrival, & the Plowboy said 
to the Plowman, "Father, The Gate is Open." I have 
begun to Work, & find that I can work with greater 
pleasure than ever. Hope soon to give you a proof that 
Felpham is propitious to the Arts. 

God bless you! I shall wish for you on Tuesday 
Evening as usual. Pray give My & My wife & sister's 
love & respects to M rs Butts; accept them yourself, & 
believe me for ever 

Your affectionate & obliged Friend, 

William Blake 

My Sister will be in town in a week, & bring with her 
your account & whatever else I can finish. 
Direct to Me: 

Blake, Felpham, near Chichester, Sussex. 



Marlborough Street 

Dear Sir, 

I cannot immediately determine whether or no I am 
dignified by the Title you have graciously conferred on 
me you cannot but recollect the difficulties that have 
unceasingly arisen to prevent my discerning clearly 
whether your Angels are black, white, or grey, and that 

1 The instruments of agriculture had naturally assumed for Blake a sym- 
bolical significance relating them to the arts of life in contrast to those of 
war and they were so used throughout the symbolical poems (see The 
Prophetic Writings of W. B. 9 ed. Gloss & Wallis, ii, 214, and Russell, Letters, 
p. 78). 


of the three on the whole I have rather inclined to the 
former opinion and considered you more immediately 
under the protection of the black-guard; however, at any 
rate I should thank you for an introduction to his High- 
ness's Court, that, when refused admittance into other 
Mansions, I may not be received as a Stranger in this. 

I am well pleased with your pleasures, feeling no small 
interest in your Happiness, and it cannot fail to be highly 
gratifying to me and my affectionate Partner to know 
that a Corner of your Mansion of Peace is asylumed to 
Her, & when invalided & rendered unfit for service who 
shall say she may not be quarter 3 d on your Cot but for 
the present she is for active Duty and satisfied with re- 
questing that if there is a Snug Berth unoccupied in any 
Chamber of your warm Heart, that her Portrait may be 
suspended there, at the same time well aware that you, 
like me, prefer the Original to the Copy. Your good 
Wife will permit, & I hope may benefit from, the Em- 
braces of Neptune, but she will presently distinguish be- 
twixt the warmth of his Embraces & yours, & court the 
former with caution. I suppose you do not admit of a 
third in that concern, or I would offer her mine even at 
this distance. Allow me before I draw a Veil over this 
interesting Subject to lament the frailty of the fairest Sex, 
for who alas! of us, my good Friend, could have thought 
that so good a Woman would ever have exchanged 
Hercules Buildings for Neptune's Bed, 

So Virtuous a Woman would ever have fled 
from Hercules Buildings to Neptune's Bed? 

Whether you will be a better Painter or a better Poet 
from your change of ways & means I know not; but this I 
predict, that you will be a better Man excuse me, as 
you have been accustomed from friendship to do, but 
certain opinions imbibed from reading, nourished by 
indulgence, and rivetted by a confined Conversation, and 


which have been equally prejudicial to your Interest 
& Happiness, will now, I trust, disperse as a Day-break 
Vapour, and you will henceforth become a Member of 
that Community of which you are at present, in the 
opinion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but a Sign to 
mark the residence of dim incredulity, haggard suspicion, 
& bloated philosophy whatever can be effected by 
sterling sense, by opinions which harmonize society and 
beautify creation, will in future be exemplified in you, & 
the time I trust is not distant, and that because I truly 
regard you, when you will be a more valorous Champion 
of Revelation & Humiliation than any of those who now 
wield the Sword of the Spirit; with your natural & 
acquired Powers nothing is wanting but a proper direc- 
tion of them, & altho' the way is both straight & narrow 
I know you too well to fear your want of resolution to 
persevere & to pursue it you have the Plough & the 
Harrow in full view & the Gate you have been pro- 
phetically told is Open, can you then hesitate joyfully 
to enter into it? 

I have much to congratulate you on Meat cheap, 
Music for nothing, a command of the Sea, and brotherly 
affection fluttering around ye The Arts have promised 
to be propitious and the Graces will courtesy to your 

Happy, happy, happy Pair, 
On Earth, in Sea, or eke in Air, 
In morn, at noon, & thro' the Night 
From Visions fair receiving light, 
Long may ye live, your Guardians 5 Care, 
And when ye die may not a Hair 
Fall to the lot of Demons black, 
Be singed by Fire, or heard to crack, 
But may your faithful Spirit upward bear 
Your gentle Souls to Him whose care 

Is ever sure and ever nigh 

Those who on Providence rely. 

And in his Paradise above 

Where all is Beauty, Truth & Love, 

O May ye be allowed to chuse 

For your firm Friend a Heaven-born Muse, 

From purest Fountains sip delight, 

Be cloathed in Glory burning bright, 

For ever blest, for ever free, 

The loveliest Blossoms on Life's Tree. 

I have no more Nonsense for you just now, but must 
assure you that I shall always sincerely devote myself to 
your service when my humble endeavours may be useful. 
Mrs. Butts greets your Wife & charming Sister with a 
holy Kiss and I, with old Neptune, bestow my Embraces 
there also for yourself I commend you to the protection 
of your Guard & am, 

Dear Sir, 

Yours most cordially 
& faithfully 1 


Friend of Religion & Order, 

I thank you for your very beautiful & encouraging 
Verses, which I account a Grown of Laurels, & I also 
thank you for your reprehension of follies by me foster'd. 
Your prediction will, I hope, be fulfilled in me, & in 
future I am the determined advocate of Religion & 
Humility, the two bands of Society. Having been so full 
of the Business of Settling the sticks & feathers of my 
nest, I have not got any forwarder with "the three 
Marys" or with any other of your commissions; but hope, 

1 There is no signature, this letter being a rough draft which Butts kept 
with his letters from Blake. The fair copy sent to Blake has not survived. 


now I have commenced a new life of industry to do 
credit to that new life by Improved Works ; Recieve from 
me a return of verses, such as Felpham produces by me, 
tho' not such as she produces by her Eldest Son; 1 how- 
ever, such as they are, I cannot resist the temptation to 
send them to you. 

To my Friend Butts I write 
My first Vision of Light, 
On the yellow sands sitting. 
The Sun was Emitting 
His Glorious beams 
From Heaven's high Streams. 
Over Sea, over Land 
My Eyes did Expand 
Into regions of air 
Away from all Care, 
Into regions of fire 
Remote from Desire; 
The Light of the Morning 
Heaven's Mountains adorning: 
In particles bright 
The jewels of Light 
Distinct shone & clear. 
Amaz'd & in fear 
I each particle gazed, 
Astonish'd, Amazed; 
For each was a Man 
Human-form' d. Swift I ran, 
For they beckon' d to me 
Remote by the Sea, 
Saying: Each grain of Sand, 2 

1 William Hayley. 

2 The grain of sand is an instance of the "minute particulars", which in 
Blake's mind were the vision-apprehended realities and therefore illusions, 
cp. "To see a World in a Grain of Sand" (Auguries of Innocence, Poetry 
and Prose, 1939, p. 118), and many other examples (see The Prophetic Writings 
ofW. B. 9 ed, Sloss & Wallis, 1926, ii, 201). 


Every Stone on the Land, 
Each rock & each hill, 
Each fountain & rill. 
Each herb & each tree. 
Mountain, hill, earth & sea, 
Cloud, Meteor & Star, 
Are Men Seen Afar. 
I stood in the Streams 
Of Heaven's bright beams, 
And Saw Felpham sweet 
Beneath my bright feet 
In soft Female charms; 
And in her fair arms 
My Shadow * I knew 
And my wife's shadow too, 
And My Sister & Friend. 
We like Infants descend 
In our Shadows on Earth, 
Like a weak mortal birth. 
My Eyes more & more 
Like a Sea without shore 
Continue Expanding, 
The Heavens commanding. 
Till the Jewels of Light, 
Heavenly Men beaming bright, 
Appear' d as One Man 2 
Who Complacent began 
My limbs to infold 
In his beams of bright gold; 
Like dross purg'd away 
All my mire & my clay. 
Soft consumed in delight 
In his bosom Sun bright 

1 The "Shadow" is the body, corporeal objects being the shadows of 
realities in the spiritual world (see Sloss & Wallis, ii, 222). 

2 The single Man is Los, the Spirit of Prophecy (see Sloss & Wallis, ii, 


I remain' cL Soft he smil'd. 

And I heard his voice Mild 

Saying: This is My Fold, 

O thou Ram horn'd with gold, 

Who awakest from Sleep 

On the Sides of the Deep. 

On the Mountains around 

The roarings resound 

Of the lion & wolf, 

The loud Sea & deep gulf. 

These are guards of My Fold, 

thou Ram horn'd with gold! 
And the voice faded mild. 

1 remained as a Child; 
All I ever had known 
Before me bright Shone. 
I saw you & your wife 
By the fountains of Life. 
Such the Vision to me 
Appeared on the Sea. 

M rs Butts will, I hope, Excuse my not having finished 
the Portrait. 1 I wait for less hurried moments. (Our 
Cottage looks more & more beautiful. And tho 3 the 
weather is wet, the Air is very Mild, much Milder than 
it was in London when we came away. Chichester is a 
very handsome City, Seven miles from us; we can get 
most Conveniences there. The Country is not so destitute 
of accomodations to our wants as I expected it would be. 
We have had but little time for viewing the Country, 
but what we have seen is Most Beautiful, & the People 
are Genuine Saxons, handsomer than the people about 
London. M rs Butts will Excuse the following lines: 

1 A miniature of Thomas Butts. 


To M rs Butts. 

Wife of the Friend of those I most revere, 
Recieve this tribute from a Harp sincere; 
Go on in Virtuous Seed sowing on Mold 
Of Human Vegetation, & Behold 
Your Harvest Springing to Eternal life, 
Parent of Youthful Minds, & happy Wife! 

W. B. 
I am for Ever Yours, 

William Blake 
Oct r - 2 d - 1800 


Dear Sir, 

Absorbed by the poets * Milton, Homer, Camoens, 
Ercilla, Ariosto, and Spenser, whose physiognomies have 
been my delightful study, Little Tom 2 has been of late 
unattended to, and my wife's illness not being quite gone 
off, she has not printed any more since you went to 
London. But we can muster a few in colours and some in 
black, which I hope will be no less favoured, tho' they 
are rough like rough sailors. We mean to begin printing 
again to-morrow. Time flies very fast and very merrily. 

1 Blake was at work upon a series of heads of the poets to be used as a 
frieze in Hayley's new library at Felpham. Twenty heads with appropriate 
attributes were painted in tempera on separate canvases. The heads of 
Ercilla and Ariosto have disappeared, but the remaining eighteen are now 
in the Manchester Art Gallery, and include one of Hayley's son, Thomas 
Alphonso. Reproductions were published by Thomas Wright for the Blake 
Society, Olney, 1925. 

2 Little Tom the Sailor, a broadside ballad by Hayley with head- and tail- 
pieces etched on soft metal by Blake. The sheet was "Printed for & Sold 
by the Widow Spicer of Folkestone for the benefit of her Orphans: October 
5,1800'*. Very few copies have survived. They were printed in dark brown 
ink and touched up with sepia washes. One, now in the British Museum, 
has been coloured by Blake or his wife. 


I sometimes try to be miserable that I may do more work, 
but find it is a foolish experiment. Happinesses have 
wings and wheels; miseries are leaden legged, and their 
whole employment is to clip the wings and to take off the 
wheels of our chariots. We determine, therefore, to be 
happy and do all that we can, tho' not all that we would. 
Our dear friend Flaxman is the theme of my emulation 
in ftiis of industry, as well as in other virtues and merits. 
Gladly I hear of his full health and spirits. Happy son of 
the immortal Phidias, his lot is truly glorious, and mine 
no less happy in his friendship and in that of his friends J 
Our cottage is surrounded by the same guardians you 
left with us; they keep off every wind. We hear the west 
howl at a distance, the south bounds on high over our 
thatch, and smiling on our cottage says: "You lay too low 
for my anger to injure/ 3 As to the east and north, I 
believe they cannot get past the Turret. 

My wife joins with me in duty and affection to you. 
Please to remember us both in love to Mr. and Mrs. 
Flaxman, and 

believe me to be your affectionate, 

Enthusiastic, hope-fostered visionary, 

William Blake 
26 th November 1800 

23. TO JOHN FLAXMAN[?]* c. 1800 

Sending all the sketches he has ever produced; has 
studied "The Presentation," x but not yet put it on paper; 
is full of business, and feels perfectly happy, thanks to his 
correspondents and Mr. Flaxman. [Extract from sale 

1 Presumably the water colour painting of "The Presentation of Christ in 
the Temple", now in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass. 


24. TO THOMAS BUTTS 10 MAY 1801 

My Dear Sir, 

The necessary application to my Duty, as well to my 
old as new friends, has prevented me from that respect 
I owe in particular to you. And your accustomed forgive- 
ness of my want of dexterity in certain points Emboldens 
me to hope that Forgiveness to be continued to me a 
little longer, When I shall be Enabled to throw off all 
obstructions to success. 

Mr. Hayley acts like a Prince. I am at complete Ease, 
but I wish to do my duty, especially to you, who were 
the precursor of my present Fortune. I never will send 
you a picture unworthy of my present proficiency. I 
soon shall send you several; my present engagements are 
in Miniature Painting. 1 Miniature is become a Goddess 
in my Eyes, & my Friends in Sussex say that I Excel in 
the pursuit. I have a great many orders, & they Multiply. 

Now let me intreat you to give me orders to furnish 
every accomodation in my power to recieve you & M rs 
Butts. I know my Cottage is too narrow for your Ease & 
comfort; we have one room in which we could make a 
bed to lodge you both, & if this is sufficient, it is at your 
service; but as beds & rooms & accomodations are easily 
procur'd by one on the spot, permit me to offer my 
service in either way, either in my cottage, or in a 
lod[g]ing in the village, as is most agreeable to you, if 
you & M rs Butts should think Bognor a pleasant relief 
from business in the Summer. It will give me the utmost 
delight to do my best. 

1 Blake completed miniatures of Thomas Butts, his wife and son, which 
are now in the British Museum Print Room. He also made others of 
William Gowper after Romney (in the possession of the Rev. Cowper 
Johnson) and of Cowper's cousin, the Rev. John Johnson (in the possession 
of Mrs. Barham Johnson). There must have been others, but they have 
not been identified. In the sedition trial at Chichester in 1805 Blake de- 
scribed himself as "miniature Painter", rendered by Scofield as "Military 
Painter" (see p. 98). 


Sussex is certainly a happy place, & Felpham in 
particular is the sweetest spot on Earth, at least it is so 
to me & My Good Wife, who desires her kindest Love 
to M rs Butts & yourself; accept mine also, & believe me 
to remain, 

Your devoted. 

Will Blake 
May 10. 1801 


My Dear Sir, 

I hope you will continue to excuse my want of steady 
perseverance, by which want I am still so much your 
debtor & you so much my Credit-er; but such as I can be, 
I will. I can be grateful, & I can soon Send you some of 
your designs which I have nearly completed. In the 
mean time by my Sister's hands I transmit to M rs Butts 
an attempt at your likeness, \jvhich I hope She, who is the 
best judge, will think like/jTime flies faster (as seems to 
me) here than in London, ilabour incessantly & accom- 
plish not one half of what I intend, because my Abstract 
folly hurries me often away while I am at work, carrying 
me over Mountains & Valleys, which are not Real, in a 
Land of Abstraction where Spectres of the Dead 2 
wander. This I endeavour to prevent & with my whole 
might chain my feet to the world of Duty & Reality; but 
in vain! the faster I bind, the better is the Ballast, for I, 
so far from being bound down, take the world with me 
in my flights, & often it seems lighter than a ball of wool 

1 The miniature already mentioned. 

2 "The spectres of the dead" are used by Blake in more than one sense. 
Here he seems to mean "the abstract idea for which the artist cannot, save 
by inspiration, find the living form, the eternally right expression'* (see 
Sloss & Wallis, ii ; 226-8). 

6 3 

rolled by the wind. Bacon & Newton x would prescribe 
ways of making the world heavier to me, & Pitt 2 would 
prescribe distress for a medicinal potion; but as none 
on Earth can give me Mental Distress, & I know that all 
Distress inflicted by Heaven is a Mercy, a Fig for all 
Corporeal! Such Distress is My mock & scorn. Alas! 
wretched, happy, ineffectual labourer of time's moments 
that I am! who shall deliver me from this Spirit of Ab- 
straction & Improvidence? Such, my Dear Sir, Is the 
truth of my state, & I tell it you in palliation of my 
seeming neglect of your most pleasant orders ;ybut I have 
not neglected them, & yet a Year is rolled over, & only 
now I approach the prospect of sending you some, which 
you may expect soon. I should have sent them by My 
Sister, but, as the Coach goes three times a week to 
London & they will arrive as safe as with her, I shall 
have an opportunity of inclosing several together which 
are not yet completed. I thank you again & again for 
your generous forbearance, of which I have need & 
now I must express my wishes to see you at Felpham & 
to shew you M r Hayley's Library, which is still un- 
finish'd, but is in a finishing way & looks well. I ought 
also to mention my Extreme disappointment at M r 
Johnson's 3 forgetfulness, who appointed to call on you 
but did Not. He is also a happy Abstract, known by all 
his Friends as the most innocent forgetter of his own 
Interests. He is nephew to the late M r Cowper the 
Poet; you would like him continue painting 
Miniatures & Improve more & more, as all my friends 
tell me; but my Principal labour at this time is Engraving 

1 Bacon and Newton are the symbols of science and materialism, the 
enemies of imagination and art. 

2 Pitt's name is the symbol of the promoter of War. cp. Blake's tempera 
painting of "The Spiritual Form of Pitt guiding Behemoth'*, now in the 
Tate Gallery. 

8 The Rev. John Johnson, Cowper's cousin, whom Blake had met when 
Johnson was on a visit to Hayley. 

6 4 

miniatures by Blake c. 1804 

Plates for Cowper's Life/ a Work of Magnitude, which 
M r Hayley is now Labouring with all his matchless 
industry, & which will be a most valuable acquisition 
to Literature, not only on account of M r Hayley's com- 
position, but also as it will contain Letters of Cowper 
to his friends, Perhaps, or rather Certainly, the very best 
letters that ever were published .J} 

My wife joins with me in Love to you & M rs Butts, 
hoping that her joy is now increased, & yours also, in 
an increase of family & of health & happiness. 
I remain, Dear Sir, 

Ever Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 

Felpham Cottage 

of Cottages the prettiest *.< * : ' 

September n. 1801 ' 

( Next time I have the happiness to see you, I am deter- 
mined to paint another Portrait of you from Life in my 
best manner, 2 for Memory will, not do in such minute 
operations; for I have now discover 5 d that without 
Nature before the painter's Eye, he can never produce 
any thing in the walks of Natural Painting. Historical 
Designing is one thing & Portrait Painting another, & 
they are as Distinct as any two Arts can be. Happy 
would that Man be who could unite them! 1 

P.S. Please to Remember our best respects to M r 
Birch, 3 & tell him that Felpham Men are the mildest of 
the human race; if it is the will of Providence, they shall 

1 The Life and Posthumous Writings of William Cowper by William Hayley 9 
Chichester, 3 vols., 4, 1803-4, containing five engravings by Blake, one 
of which is an excellent stippled plate of a bust of Cowper in a night-cap 
after Lawrence. 

2 No portrait of Butts by Blake other than the miniature is known to exist. 
8 John Birch (1745-1815), surgeon, who attended Blake and his wife. See 

also pp. 84 and 140. He was a believer in the efficacy of electrical treat- 
ment for rheumatism and other disorders, and published a Letter to the author 
on medical electricity in George Adams' Essay on Electricity, London, 1 792, 8. 

L.W.B. E 65 

be the wisest. We hope that he will, next summer, joke 
us face to face. God bless you all! 


7 OCTOBER l8oi 

[This letter is written on the second leaf of a letter from Flax- 
man to Hayley. Flaxman, writing from Buckingham Street, 
Fitzroy Square, Oct. 7, 1801, concludes his message to Hayley 
with the words, "I shall beg your permission to address the 
other side to M r Blake".] 

Dear Blake, 

I rejoice in your happiness & contentment under the 
kind & affectionate auspices of our Friend. M rs Flax- 
man & myself would feel no small gratification in a visit 
of participation in the domestic Innocence & satisfac- 
tion of your rural retreat; but the same Providence that 
has given retirement to you, has placed me in a great 
City where my employments continually exact an atten- 
tion neither to be remitted or delayed, & thus the All 
bestowing Hand deals out happiness to his creatures 
when they are sensible of His Goodness; the little com- 
missions I troubled you with in my last are such as one 
friend offers unwillingly to another on account of the 
scanty recompence, but I know you relieve yourself from 
more tedious labours by Composition & Design, when 
they are done let me have them & I will take care to get 
the money for you. 

My Wife unites in love to you & M rs Blake 
with your affectionate 

J Flaxman 



Dear Flaxman, 

I rejoice to hear that your Great Work is accomplished. 


Peace 1 opens the way to greater still. The Kingdoms of 
this World are now become the Kingdoms of God & his 
Christ, & we shall reign with him for ever & ever. The 
Reign of Literature & the Arts Commences. Blessed are 
those who are found studious of Literature & Humane & 
polite accomplishments. Suchjiave their lamps burning 
& such shall shine as the stars. | 

M r Thomas, your friend to whom you was so kind as 
to make honourable mention of me, has been at Felpham 
& did me the favor to call on me. I have promis'd him 
to send my designs for Comus 2 when I have done them, 
directed to you. 

/Now I hope to see the Great Works of Art, as they are 
so near to Felpham, Paris being scarce further off than 
London. But I hope that France & England will hence- 
forth be as One Country and their Arts One, & that you 
will Ere k>ng be erecting Monuments In Paris Emblems 
of Peace/ 

My wife joins with me in love to You & M rs Flaxman. 

I remain, Yours Sincerely 

William Blake 
Oct 19 1801 

[Postscript in Haylejfs hand] 

I have just seen Weller 3 all yr Friends in the south 
are willing to await yr Leisure for Works of Marble, but 
Weller says it would soothe & comfort the good sister of 
the upright Mr. D. 4 to see a little sketch from yr Hand, 

1 Peace with Napoleon Buonaparte. Negotiations were opened this year 
and concluded in March 1802. 

2 Blake completed two sets of eight illustrations each for Comus in water- 
colours. Both are now in America, one in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts 
and the other in the H. E. Huntington Library, California. The set sent 
to "Mr Thomas" is probably the latter. 

3 Mr. Weller, wood carver, of Chichester, to whom Blake afterwards gave 
a copy of Hayley's Ballads, 1805 (see Keynes, Bibliography of Blake, 1921, 
pp. 419-20). 

4 Mr. D. has not been identified unless it should be the "Mr Dally" of 
later letters (see p. 121). 

6 7 


Felpham Jan y 10. 1802 

Dear Sir, 

Your very kind & affectionate Letter & the many kind 
things you have said in it, caird upon me for an im- 
mediate answer; but it found My Wife & Myself so 111, 
& My wife so very ill, that till now I have not been able 
to do this duty. The Ague & Rheumatism have been 
almost her constant Enemies, which she has combated in 
vain ever since we have been here; & her sickness is 
always my sorrow, of course. But what you tell me about 
your sight afflicted me not a little, & that about your 
health, in another part of your letter, makes me intreat 
you to take due care of both; it is a part of our duty to 
God & man to take due care of his Gifts; & tho 5 we 
ought not [to] think more highly of ourselves, yet we 
ought to think As highly of ourselves as immortals ought 
to think. 

/When I came down here, I was more sanguine than I 
am at present; but it was because I was ignorant of 
many things which have since occurred, & chiefly the 
unhealthiness of the place. Yet I do not repent of 
coming on a thousand accounts; & M r H., I doubt not, 
will do ultimately all that both he & I wish that is, to 
lift me out of difficulty; but this is no easy matter to a 
man who, having Spiritual Enemies of such formidable 
magnitude, cannot expect to want natural hidden ones. 

Your approbation of my pictures is a Multitude to Me, 
& I doubt not that all your kind wishes in my behalf 
shall in due time be fulfilled. Your kind offer of pecun- 
iary assistance I can only thank you for at present, 
because I have enough to serve my present purpose here; 
our expenses are small, & our income, from our incessant 
labour, fully adequate to [it del.] them at present. /I am 
now engaged in Engraving 6 small plates for a New 


Edition of M r Hayley's Triumphs of Temper, 1 from 
drawings by Maria Flaxman, sister to my friend the 
Sculptor, and it seems that other things will follow in 
course, if I do but Copy these well^but Patience! if Great 
things do not turn out, it is because such things depend on 
the Spiritual & not on the Natural World; & if it was fit 
for me, I doubt not that I should be Employed in Greater 
things; & when it is proper, my Talents shall be properly 
exercised in Public, as I hope they are now in private; for, 
till then, I leave no stone unturn'd & no path unexplored 
that tends to improvement in my beloved Arts. One 
thing of real consequence I have accomplish 3 d by coming 
into the country, which is to me consolation enough: 
namely, I have recollected all my scatter 5 d thoughts on 
Art & resumed my primitive & original ways of Execu- 
tion in both painting & engraving, which in the con- 
fusion of London I had very much lost & obliterated 
from my mind. But whatever becomes of my labours, I 
would rather that they should be preserved in your Green 
House (not, as you mistakenly call it, dung hill) than in 
the cold gallery of fashion. The Sun may yet shine, & 
then they will be brought into open air. 

But you have so generously & openly desired that I 
will divide my griefs with you, that I cannot hide what 
it is now become my duty to explain.-^-My unhappiness 
has arisen from a source which, if explor'd too narrowly, 
might hurt my pecuniary circumstances, As my depend- 
ence is on Engraving at present, & particularly on the 
Engravings I have in hand for M r H.: & I find on all 
hands great objections to my doing any thing but the 
meer drudgery of business, & intimations that if I do not 
confine myself to this, I shall not live; this has always 
pursu'd me. You will understand by this the source of 

1 The Triumphs of Temper. A Poem: In Six Cantos. By William Hayley Esq. 
The Twelfth Edition corrected. With New Original Designs by Maria 
Flaxman. London, 1803, 8. With six plates engraved by Blake, which 
appeared also in the thirteenth edition, 1807. 


all my uneasiness. This from Johnson 1 & Fuseli brought 
me down here, & this from M r H. will bring me back 
again; for that I cannot live without doing my duty to 
lay up treasures in heaven is Certain & Determined, & 
to this I have long made up my mind, & why this should 
be made an objection to Me, while Drunkenness, Lewd- 
ness, Gluttony & even Idleness itself, does not hurt other 
men, let Satan himself Explain. The Thing I have most 
at Heart more than life, or all that seems to make life 
comfortable without Is the Interest of True Religion & 
Science, 2 & whenever any thing appears to affect that 
Interest (Especially if I myself omit any duty to my [self 
del.] Station as a Soldier of Christ), It gives me the greatest 
of torments./! am not ashamed, afraid, or averse to tell 
you what Ought to be Told: That I am under the 
direction of Messengers from Heaven, Daily & Nightly; 
but the nature of such things is not, as some suppose, 
without trouble or care. Temptations are on the right 
hand & left; behind, the sea of time & space 3 roars & 
follows swiftly; he who keeps not right onward is lost, & 
if our footsteps slide in clay, how can we do otherwise 

than fear & trembler! but I should not have troubled You 

with this account of my spiritual state, unless it had been 

necessary in explaining the actual cause of my uneasiness, 
into which you are so kind as to Enquire; for I never 
obtrude such things on others unless questioned, & then 
I never disguise the truth. But (if we fear to do the 
dictates of our Angels, & tremble at the Tasks set before 
us; if we refuse to do Spiritual Acts because of Natural 
Fears of Natural Desires! Who can describe the dismal 

1 John Johnson, bookseller and publisher, who had employed Blake in 
engraving many illustrations for books. 

2 That is of Art, which to Blake was almost synonymous with Christianity: 
"Science" is here used in the special sense of spiritual knowledge (see Sloss 
& Wallis, ii, 216). 

3 "The sea of time and space" signifies experiences in the material world, 
which interfere with the exercise of vision and imagination. 


torments of such a state! I too well remember the 
Threats I heard! If you, who are organised by Divine 
Providence for Spiritual communion. Refuse, & bury your 
Talent in the Earth, even tho ? you should want Natural 
Bread, Sorrow & Desperation pursues you thro 3 life, & 
after death shame & confusion of face to eternity. Every 
one in Eternity will leave you, aghast at the Man who 
was crown' d with glory & honour by his brethren, & 
betray' d their cause to their enemies. You will be calPd 
the base Judas who betray'd his Friend! Such words 
would make any stout man tremble, & how then could 
I be at ease? But I am now no longer in That State, & 
now go on again with my Task, Fearless, and tho' my 
path is difficult, I have no fear of stumbling while I 
keep it!) 

My wife desires her kindest Love to M rs Butts, & I 
have permitted her to send it to you also; we often wish 
that we could unite again in Society, & hope that the 
time is not distant when we shall do so, being determined 
not to remain another winter here, but to return to 

I hear a voice you cannot hear, that says I must not stay, 
I see a hand you cannot see, that beckons me away. 1 

Naked we came here, naked of Natural things, & naked 
we shall return; but while cloth'd with the Divine Mercy, 
we are richly cloth' d in Spiritual & suffer all the rest 
gladly. Pray give my Love to M rs Butts & your family. 
I am, Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 

P.S. Your Obliging proposal of Exhibiting my two 
Pictures likewise calls for my thanks; I will finish the 
other, & then we shall judge of the matter with certainty. 

1 These four lines, written by Blake as two, are from Thomas Tickell's 
"Lucy and Colin", included in Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 
London, 1765, vol. Ill, p. 308. 



Felpham, Nov r 22: 1802. 

Dear Sir, 

My Brother x tells me that he fears you are offended 
with me. I fear so too, because there appears some reason 
why you might be so. But when you have heard me out, 
you will not be so. 

I have now given two years to the intense study of 
those parts of the art which relate to light & shade & 
colour, & am Convinc'd that either my understanding is 
incapable of comprehending the beauties of Colouring, 
or the Pictures which I painted for you Are Equal in 
Every part of the Art, & superior in One, to any thing 
that has been done since the age of Rafael. All S r J. 
Reynolds's discourses to the Royal Academy will shew 
that the Venetian finesse in Art can never be united with 
the Majesty of Colouring necessary to Historical beauty; 
& in a letter to the Rev d M r Gilpin, author of a work 
on Picturesque Scenery, he says Thus: 2 "It may be 
cc worth consideration whether the epithet Picturesque" 
"is not applicable to the excellencies of the inferior" 
"Schools rather than to the higher. The works of" 
"Michael Angelo, Rafael, & c ., appear to me to have" 
"nothing of it: whereas Rubens & the Venetian Painters" 
"may almost be said to have Nothing Else. Perhaps" 
"Picturesque is somewhat synonymous to the word" 
"Taste, which we should think improperly applied to" 
"Homer or Milton, but very well to Prior or Pope. I" 
"suspect that the application of these words are to" 
"Excellencies of an inferior order, & which are incom-" 
"patible with the Grand Style. You are certainly right" 
"in saying that variety of Tints & Forms is Picturesque;" 
"but it must be remember'd, on the other hand, that the" 

1 His elder brother, James, the hosier. 

2 Three Essays on Picturesque Beauty^ by William Gilpin, 1 792, p. 35. 


"reverse of this (uniformity of Colour & a long continuation" 
"of lines] produces Grandeur." So Says Sir Joshua, and 
So say I; for I have now proved that the parts of the art 
which I neglected to display in those little pictures & 
drawings which I had the pleasure & profit to do for 
you, are incompatible with the designs. There is 
nothing in the Art which our Painters do that I can con- 
fess myself ignorant of. I also Know & Understand & 
can assuredly affirm, that the works I have done for You 
are Equal to Carrache or Rafael (and I am now Seven 
years older than Rafael was when he died), I say they are 
Equal to Carrache or Rafael, or Else I am Blind, Stupid, 
Ignorant and Incapable in two years' Study to under- 
stand those things which a Boarding School Miss can 
comprehend in a fortnight^Be assured, My dear Friend, 
that there is not one touch In those Drawings & Pictures 
but what came from my Head & my Heart in Unison; 
That I am Proud of being their Author and Grateful to 
you my Employer; & that I look upon you as the Chief 
of my Friends, whom I would endeavour to please, 
because you, among all men, have enabled me to pro- 
duce these things. I would not send you a Drawing or a 
Picture till I had again reconsidered my notions of Art, 
& had put myself back as if I was a learner. I have 
proved that I am Right, & shall now Go on with the 
Vigour I was in my Childhood famous for^ 

But I do not pretend to be Perfect: but, if my Works 
have faults, Carrache, Corregio, & Rafael's have faults 
also; let me observe that the yellow leather flesh of old 
men, the ill drawn & ugly young women, &, above all, 
the dawbed black & yellow shadows that are found in 
most fine, ay, & the finest pictures, I altogether reject as 
ruinous to Effect, tho' Connoisseurs may think otherwise. 

Let me also notice that Carrache's Pictures are not like 
Correggio's, nor Correggio's like Rafael's; &, if neither 
of them was to be encouraged till he did like any of the 


others, he must die without Encouragement. My Pic- 
tures are unlike any of these Painters, & I would have 
them to be so. I think the manner I adopt More Perfect 
than any other; no doubt They thought the same of 

(You will be tempted to think that, as I improve, The 
Pictures, & c ., that I did for you are not what I would 
now wish them to be. On this I beg to say That they are 
what I intended them, & that I know I never shall do 
better; for, if I were to do them over again, they would 
lose as much as they gain'd, because they were done in 
the heat of My Spirits.) 

But You will justly enquire why I have not written all 
this time to you? I answer I have been very Unhappy, 
& could not think of troubling you about it, or any of 
my real Friends. (I have written many letters to you 
which I burn'd & did not send) & why I have not before 
finish'd the Miniature I promised to M rs Butts? 

answer I have not, till now, in any degree pleased 
myself, & now I must intreat you to Excuse faults, for 
Portrait Painting is the direct contrary to Designing & 
Historical Painting in every respect. If you have not 
Nature before you for Every Touch, you cannot Paint 
Portrait; & if you have Nature before you at all, you 
cannot Paint History; it was Michael Angelo's opinion 
& is Mine^ Pray Give My Wife's love with mine to M rs 
Butts; assure her that it cannot be long before I have the 
pleasure of Painting from you in Person, & then that She 
may Expect a likeness, but now I have done All I could, 
& know she will forgive any failure in consideration of 
the Endeavour. 

* And now let me finish with assuring you that, Tho 5 I 
have been very unhappy, I am so no longer. I am again 
Emerged into the light of day; I still & shall to Eternity 
Embrace Christianity and Adore him who is the Express 
image of God; but I have travePd thro* Perils & Dark- 


ness not unlike a Champion. I have Conquer'd, and 
shall still Go on Conquering. Nothing can withstand the 
fury of my Course among the Stars of God & in the 
Abysses of the Accuser. My Enthusiasm is still what it 
was, only Enlarged and confirm' d. 

I now Send Two Pictures & hope you will approve of 
them. I have inclosed the Account of Money reciev'd 
& Work done, which I ought long ago to have sent you; 
pray forgive Errors in omissions of this kind. I am in- 
capable of many attentions which it is my Duty to ob- 
serve towards you, thro' multitude of employment & 
thro' hope of soon seeing you again. I often omit to 
Enquire of you. But pray let me now hear how you do & 
of the welfare of your family. 

Accept my Sincere love & respect. 

I remain Yours Sincerely, 

Will 1 * Blake 

A Piece of Sea Weed serves for a Barometer; at [it] 
gets wet & dry as the weather gets so. 


Dear Sir, 

After I had finish' d my Letter, I found that I had not 
said half what I intended to say, & in particular I wish 
to ask you what subject you choose to be painted on the 
remaining Canvas which I brought down with me (for 
there were three), and to tell you that several of the 
Drawings were in great forwardness; you will see by the 
Inclosed Account that the remaining Number of Draw- 
ings which you gave me orders for is Eighteen. I will 
finish these with all possible Expedition, if indeed I have 
not tired you, or, as it is politely call'd, Bored you too 
much already; or, if you would rather cry out Enough, 


Off, Off !, tell me in a Letter of forgiveness if you were 
offended, & of accustom 5 d friendship if you were not. 
But I will bore you more with some Verses which My 
Wife desires me to Copy out & send you with her kind 
love & Respect; they were Composed above a twelve- 
month ago, while walking from Felpham to Lavant to 
meet my Sister: 

With happiness stretched across the hills 

In a cloud that dewy sweetness distills, 

With a blue sky spread over with wings 

And a mild sun that mounts & sings, 

With trees & fields full of Fairy elves 

And little devils who fight for themselves 

Rememb'ring the Verses that Hayley sung 

When my heart knock' d against the root of my tongue l 

With Angels planted in Hawthorn bowers 

And God himself in the passing hours, 

With Silver Angels across my way 

And Golden Demons that none can stay, 

With my Father hovering upon the wind 

And my Brother Robert 2 just behind 

And my Brother John 3 the evil one 

In a black cloud making his mone; 

1 The two lines beginning "Rememb'ring the Verses", are written in the 
margin and marked: "These 2 lines were omitted in transcribing & ought 
to come in at X". The "Verses that Hayley sung" are probably to be 
identified with a MS entitled Genesis, the Seven Days of the Created World. 
This consists of about 200 lines of blank verse written in Blake's hand, 
recently identified by Mr. Kenneth Povey as a close translation of the open- 
ing lines of Tasso's Le Sette Giornate del Mondo Create (see Times Literary 
Supplement, 3 November 1952). The MS is now in private hands in America 
and was printed in a limited edition by the Gummington Press, Cumming- 
ton. Mass. [1952]. 

2 Robert, the youngest of the family, died at the age of 25 in 1787. He 
had been William's special favourite (see Keynes, Blake Studies, 1948, p. 3). 

3 John, the third son in the family, was said by Frederick Tatham to have 
"lived a few reckless days, enlisted as a soldier, and died". He had been 
apprenticed to a ginger-bread maker, but afterwards begged at William's 
door (see Letters of W. B., ed, Russell, p. 3). 


Tho* dead, they appear upon my path. 

Notwithstanding my terrible wrath: 

They beg, they intreat, they drop their tears, 

FilTd full of hopes, fill'd full of fears 

With a thousand Angels upon the Wind 

Pouring disconsolate from behind 

To drive them off, & before my way 

A frowning Thistle implores my stay. 

What to others a trifle appears 

Fills me full of smiles or tears; 

For double the vision my Eyes do see, 1 

And a double vision is always with me. 

With my inward Eye 'tis an old Man grey; 

With my outward, a Thistle across my way. 

"If thou goest back," the thistle said, 

"Thou art to endless woe betray'd; 

For here does Theotormon 2 lower 

And here is Enitharmon's bower 

And Los the terrible thus hath sworn, 

Because thou backward dost return, 

Poverty, Envy, old age & fear 

Shall bring thy Wife upon a bier; 

And Butts shall give what Fuseli gave, 

A dark black Rock & a gloomy Cave." 

I struck the Thistle with my foot. 
And broke him up from his delving root: 
"Must the duties of life each other cross?" 
"Must every joy be dung & dross?" 
"Must my dear Butts feel cold neglect" 
"Because I give Hayley his due respect?" 

1 Single vision is purely material perception; in double vision intellect 
has made its contribution; threefold vision is emotional, and fourfold 
spiritual. This is all expressed in the last lines of the poem. 

2 Theotormon is one of the four sons of Los and Enitharmon, that is of 
the Spirit of Prophecy. These sons remained in the spiritual world of 
Blake's mythology and were the guardians of the spiritual life (see Sloss 
& Wallis, ii, 194, and Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 109). 


"Must Flaxman look upon me as wild," 
"And all my friends be with doubts beguil'd?" 
"Must my Wife live in my Sister's bane/' 
"Or my Sister survive on my Love's pain?" 
"The curses of Los the terrible shade" 
"And his dismal terrors make me afraid," 

So I spoke & struck in my wrath 

The old man weltering upon my path. 

Then Los appeared in all his power: 

In the Sun he appeared, descending before 

My face in fierce flames; in my double sight 

'Twas outward a Sun: inward Los in his might. 

"My hands are labour' d day & night/' 
"And Ease comes never in my sight." 
"My Wife has no indulgence given" 
"Except what comes to her from heaven." 
"We eat little, we drink less;" 
"This Earth breeds not our happiness." 
"Another Sun feeds our life's streams," 
"We are not warmed with thy beams;" 
"Thou measurest not the Time to me," 
"Nor yet the Space that I do see;" 
"My Mind is not with thy light array'd." 
"Thy terrors shall not make me afraid." 

When I had my Defiance given, 

The Sun stood trembling in heaven; 

The Moon that glow'd remote below, 

Became leprous & white as snow; 

And every soul of men on the Earth 

Felt affliction & sorrow & sickness & dearth. 

Los flam'd in my path, & the Sun was hot 

With the bows of my Mind & the Arrows of Thought 

1 cp. Milton, Preface: 

Bring me my Bow of burning gold: 
Bring me my Arrows of desire: 


My bowstring fierce with Ardour breathes, 
My arrows glow in their golden sheaves; 
My brothers & father march before; 
The heavens drop with human gore. 

Now I a fourfold vision see. 
And a fourfold vision is given to me; 
Tis fourfold in my supreme delight 
And threefold in soft Beulah's night 
And twofold Always. May God us keep 
From Single vision & Newton's sleep! 

I also inclose you some Ballads by M r Hayley, 1 with 
prints to them by^Your H ble - Serv** I should have sent 
them before now, but could not get any thing done for 
You to please myself; for I do assure you that I have truly 
studied the two little pictures I now send, & do not 
repent of the time I have spent upon them. 
God bless you. 


W. B. 

P.S. I have taken the liberty to trouble you with a 
letter to my Brother, which you will be so kind as to send 
or give him, & oblige yours, W. B. 


Jan*-, 30, 1803. 

Dear Brother 3 

Your Letter mentioning M r Butts' account of my 
Ague surprized me because I have no Ague, but have had 

1 Designs to a Series of Ballads written by William Hayley, Chichester, 1802, 
4, in four parts with fourteen engravings by Blake. 


a Gold this Winter. You know that it is my way to make 
the best of everything. I never make myself nor my 
friends uneasy if I can help it. My Wife has had Agues 
& Rheumatisms almost ever since she has been here, but 
our time is almost out that we took the Cottage for. I 
did not mention our Sickness to you & should not to 
M r Butts but for a determination which we have lately 
made, namely To leave This Place, because I am now 
certain of what I have long doubted, Viz that H. is 
jealous as Stothard was & will be no further My friend 
than he is compell'd by circumstances. The truth is. As 
a Poet he is frighten' d at me & as a Painter his views & 
mine are opposite; he thinks to turn me into a Portrait 
Painter as he did Poor Romney, but this he nor all the 
devils in hell will never do. I must own that seeing H. 
like S., Envious (& that he is I am now certain) made me 
very uneasy, but it is over & I now defy the worst & fear 
not while I am true to myself which I will be. This is the 
uneasiness I spoke of to M r Butts, but I did not tell him 
so plain & wish you to keep it a secret & to burn this 
letter because it speaks so plain. I told M r Butts that I 
did not wish to Explore too much the cause of our deter- 
mination to leave Felpham because of pecuniary con- 
nexions between H. & me Be not then uneasy on any 
account & tell my Sister not to be uneasy, for I am fully 
Employed & Well Paid. I have made it so much tFs 
interest to employ me that he can no longer treat me with 
indifference & now it is in my power to stay or return or 
remove to any other place that I choose, because I am 
getting before hand in money matters. The Profits arising 
from Publications are immense, & I now have it in my 
power to commence publication with many very formid- 
able works, which I have finished & ready. A Book price 
half a guinea may be got out at the Expense of Ten 
pounds & its almost certain profits are 500 G. I am only 
sorry that I did not know the methods of publishing 


years ago, & this is one of the numerous benefits I have 
obtain'd by coming here, for I should never have known 
the nature of Publication unless I had known H. & his 
connexions & his method of managing. It now would be 
folly not to venture publishing. I am now Engraving Six 
little plates for a little work x of M r H's, for which I am 
to have 10 Guineas each, & the certain profits of that 
work are a fortune such as would make me independent, 
supposing that I could substantiate such a one of my 
own & I mean to try many. But I again say as I said 
before, We are very Happy sitting at tea by a wood fire 
in our Cottage, the wind singing above our roof & the 
Sea roaring at a distance, but if sickness comes all is 

But my letter to M r Butts appears to me not to be so 
explicit as that to you, for I told you that I should come 
to London in the Spring to commence Publisher & he 
has offer 3 d me every assistance in his power without 
knowing my intention. But since I wrote yours we had 
made the resolution of which we inform 3 d him, viz to 
leave Felpham entirely. I also told you what I was about 
& that I was not ignorant of what was doing in London 
in works of art. But I did not mention Illness because I 
hoped to get better (for I was really very ill when I 
wrote to him the last time) & was not then perswaded as 
I am now that the air tho 3 warm is unhealthy. 

However, this I know will set you at Ease. I am now 
so full of work that I have had no time to go on with the 
Ballads, & my prospects of more & more work continu- 
ally are certain. My Heads of Cowper for M r H's life 
of Cowper have pleas' d his Relations exceedingly & in 
Particular Lady Hesketh & Lord Cowper to please 
Lady H. was a doubtful chance who almost ador'd her 
Cousin the poet & thought him all perfection, & she 
writes that she is quite satisfied with the portraits & 

1 Hayley's Triumphs of Temper, 1803. 

L.W.B. F 8 1 

charm'd by the great Head in particular, tho ? she never 
could bear the original Picture. 

But I ought to mention to you that our present idea is: 
To take a house in some village further from the Sea, 
Perhaps Lavant, & in or near the road to London for the 
sake of convenience. I also ought to inform you that I 
read your letter to M r H. & that he is very afraid of 
losing me & also very afraid that my Friends in London 
should have a bad opinion of the reception he has given 
to me. But My Wife has undertaken to Print the whole 
number of the Plates for Cowper's work, which she does 
to admiration, & being under my own eye the prints are 
as fine as the French prints & please every one: in short 
I have Got every thing so under my thumb that it is more 
profitable that things should be as they are than any 
other way, tho' not so agreeable, because we wish natur- 
ally for friendship in preference to interest. The Pub- 
lishers * are already indebted to My Wife Twenty 
Guineas for work deliver'd; this is a small specimen of 
how we go on: then fear nothing & let my Sister fear 
nothing because it appears to me that I am now too old 
& have had too much experience to be any longer im- 
posed upon, only illness makes all uncomfortable & this 
we must prevent by every means in our power. 

I send with this 5 Copies of N4 of the Ballads for M rs 
Flaxman & Five more, two of which you will be so good 
as to give to M rs Chetwynd 2 if she should call or send 
for them. These Ballads are likely to be Profitable, for 
we have Sold all that we have had time to print. Evans 
the Bookseller in Pallmall says they go off very well, & 
why should we repent of having done them? it is doing 
Nothing that is to be repented of & not doing such things 
as these. 

Pray remember us both to M r Hall when you see him. 

1 Henry Seagrave of Chichester. 

2 Among Romney's sitters was a Mr. Chetwynd. 


I write in great haste & with a head full of botheration 
about various projected works & particularly a work 
now Proposed to the Public at the End of Cowper's Life, 
which will very likely be of great consequence; it is 
Cowper's Milton, the same that Fuseli's Milton Gallery 
was painted for, & if we succeed in our intentions the 
prints to this work will be very profitable to me & not 
only profitable, but honourable at any rate. 1 The Project 
pleases Lord Cowper's family, & I am now labouring in 
my thoughts Designs for this & other works equally 
creditable. These are works to be boasted of, & therefore 
I cannot feel depressed, tho' I know that as far as Design- 
ing & Poetry are concern'd I am Envied in many 
Quarters, but I will cram the dogs, for I know that the 
Public are my friends & love my works & will embrace 
them whenever they see them. My only Difficulty is to 
produce fast enough. 

I go on Merrily with my Greek & Latin; am very sorry 
that I did not begin to learn languages early in life as I 
find it very Easy; am now learning my Hebrew 1DX*. 2 I 
read Greek as fluently as an Oxford scholar & the 
Testament is my chief master: astonishing indeed is the 
English Translation, it is almost word for word, & if the 
Hebrew Bible is as well translated, which I do not 
doubt it is, we need not doubt of its having been trans- 
lated as well as written by the Holy Ghost. 

my wife joins me in Love to you both. 

I am, Sincerely yours, 

W. Blake 

1 These plates were not engraved. 

2 Several times after this date Blake introduced Hebrew characters in his 
designs, as in the lithograph of Enoch, 1807, the engraving of the Laocoon, 
c. 1817, and the title-page and plate 2 of Illustrations of the Book of Job, 1826. 
He also made, perhaps in 1 803, a series of trial sketches of Hebrew characters, 
using human figures for the component parts; this drawing is now in the 
Whitworth Institute Gallery, Manchester, and is reproduced in Pencil 
Drawings, ed. Keynes, 1927, pi. 27. 



My Dear Sir, 

I write in haste, having reciev'd a pressing Letter from 
my Brother. I intended to have sent the Picture of the 
Riposo, 1 which is nearly finish 5 d much to my satisfaction, 
but not quite; you shall have it soon. I now send the 4 
Numbers for Mr. Birch, with best Respects to him. The 
Reason the Ballads have been suspended is the pressure 
of other business, but they will go on again soon. 2 

(Accept of my thanks for your kind & heartening Letter. 
You have Faith in the Endeavours of Me, your weak 
brother & fellow Disciple; how great must be your faith 
in our Divine Master! You are to me a Lesson of 
Humility, while you Exalt me by such distinguishing 
commendations. I know that you see certain merits in 
me, which, by God's Grace, shall be made fully apparent 
& perfect in Eternity; in the mean time I must not bury 
the Talents in the Earth, but do my endeavour to live to 
the Glory of our Lord & Saviour; & I am also grateful 
to the kind hand that endeavours to lift me out of 
despondency, even if it lifts me too highy 

And now. My Dear Sir, Congratulate me on my return 
to London, with the full approbation of M r Hayley & 
with Promise But, Alas! 

Now I may say to you, what perhaps I should not dare 
to say to any one else: That I can alone carry on my 
visionary studies in London unannoy'd, & that I may 
converse with my friends in Eternity, See Visions, Dream 
Dreams & prophecy & speak Parables unobserved & at 
liberty from the Doubts of other Mortals; perhaps 

1 There is a water-colour painting of this subject formerly in the Graham 
Robertson collection, and now in the Print Room at the British Museum, 
but the allusion seems to be to a tempera, now destroyed. It is described 
by Rossetti (Gilchrist, Life, 1880, ii, 238) as: "Tempera. The Holy Family 
are within a tent; an angel at its entrance; the donkey outside. Very dark 
by decay of the surface, and otherwise injured." 

2 No further numbers were in fact published. 

Doubts proceeding from Kindness, but Doubts are al- 
ways pernicious, Especially when we Doubt our Friends. 
Christ is very decided on this Point: "He who is Not 
With Me is Against Me." There is no Medium or 
Middle state; & if a Man is the Enemy of my Spiritual 
Life while he pretends to be the Friend of my Corporeal, 
he is a Real Enemy but the Man may be the friend of 
my Spiritual Life while he seems the Enemy of my 
Corporeal, but Not Vice Versa.^ 

What is very pleasant, Every one who hears of my 
going to London again Applauds it as the only course for 
the interest of all concern' d in My Works, Observing that 
I ought not to be away from the opportunities London 
affords of seeing fine Pictures, and the various improve- 
mepts in Works of Art going on in London, 
{tfut none can know the Spiritual Acts of rny three 
years 3 Slumber on the banks of the Ocean, unless he has 
seen them in the Spirit, or unless he should read My long 
Poem x descriptive of those Acts; for I have in these three 
years composed an immense number of verses on One 
Grand Theme, Similar to Homer's Iliad or Milton's 
Paradise Lost, the Persons & Machinery intirely new to 
the Inhabitants of Earth (some of the Persons Excepted). 
I have written this Poem from immediate Dictation, 
twelve or sometimes twenty or thirty lines at a time, 
without Premeditation & even against my Will; the 
Time it has taken in writing was thus rendered Non 
Existent, & an immense Poem Exists which seems to be 
the Labour of a long Life, all produc'd without Labour 
or Study. I mention this to shew you what I think the 
Grand Reason of my being brought down here. 

I have a thousand & ten thousand things to say to you. 

1 This no doubt refers to the long symbolic poem entitled Milton. The 
title-page of this, dated 1804, indicates that there were to be twelve books, 
though only two were finished about 1808. The rest of the material seems 
to have been transferred to the longer poem, Jerusalem, finished about 1818. 


My heart is full of futurity. I percieve that the sore 
travel which has been given me these three years leads 
to Glory & Honour. I rejoice & I tremble: "I am fear- 
fully & wonderfully made." I had been reading the 
cxxxix Psalm a little before your Letter arrived. I take 
your advice. I see the face of my Heavenly Father; he 
lays his Hand upon my Head & gives a blessing to all my 
works; why should I be troubled? why should my heart 
& flesh cry out? I will go on in the Strength of the Lord; 
through Hell will I sing forth his Praises, that the 
Dragons of the Deep may praise him, & that those who 
dwell in darkness & in the Sea coasts may be gathered 
into his Kingdom. Excuse my, perhaps, too great En- 
thusiasm. Please to accept of & give our Loves to M rs 
Butts & your amiable Family, & believe me to be, 

Ever Yours Affectionately, 

Will Blake 

April 25. 1803 


Dear Sir, 

I send you the Riposo, which I hope you will think 
my best Picture in many respects. It represents the Holy 
Family in Egypt, Guarded in their Repose from those 
Fiends, the Egyptian Gods, 1 and tho 3 not directly taken 
from a Poem of Milton's (for till I had design'd it Milton's 
Poem did not come into my Thoughts), Yet it is very 
similar to his Hymn on the Nativity, 2 which you will find 

1 cp. the sentences on the Laocoon print, c. 1820: "The Gods of Greece 
& Egypt were Mathematical Diagrams". "Egypt . . . Whose Gods are the 
Powers of this World, Goddess Nature, Who first spoil & then destroy 
Imaginative Art; For their Glory is War and Dominion." 

2 Six years later, in 1809, Blake made a series of water-colour designs for 
this poem, which are now in the Whitworth Institute Gallery, Manchester. 


among his smaller Poems, & will read with great delight. 
I have given, in the background, a building, which may 
be supposed the ruin of a Part of Nimrod's tower, 1 which 
I conjecture to have spread over many Countries; for he 
ought to be reckon' d of the Giant brood. 

I have now on the Stocks the following drawings 2 for 
you: i. Jephthah sacrificing his Daughter; 2. Ruth & 
her mother in Law & Sister; 3. The three Maries at the 
Sepulcher; 4. The Death of Joseph; 5. The Death of the 
Virgin Mary; 6. S* Paul Preaching; & 7. The Angel of 
the Divine Presence clothing Adam & Eve with Coats 
of Skins. 

These are all in great forwardness, & I am satisfied that 
I improve very much & shall continue to do so while I 
live, which is a blessing I can never be too thankful for 
both to God & Man. 

We look forward every day with pleasure toward our 
meeting again in London with those whom we have 
learn'd to value by absence no less perhaps than we did 
by presence; for recollection often surpasses every thing, 
indeed, the prospect of returning to our friends is 
supremely delightful Then, I am determin'd that M rs 
Butts shall have a good likeness of You, if I have hands 

6 eyes left; for I am become a likeness taker & succeed 
admirably well; but this is not to be atchiev'd without 
the original sitting before you for Every touch, all like- 
nesses from memory being necessarily very very defec- 
tive; but Nature & Fancy are Two Things & can Never 
be joined; neither ought any one to attempt it, for it is 
Idolatry & destroys the Soul. 

1 That is, the Tower of Babel, traditionally supposed to have been built 
by Nimrod, the huntsman and slayer, symbol of violence and cruelty, and 
therefore one of the brutal Giant Brood. 

2 All these water-colour drawings were afterwards in the Graham Robert- 
son collection except no. 6. No. i is now in the British Museum Print Room, 
no. 2 in the Southampton Art Gallery, no. 5 in the Tate Gallery, nos. 3 and 

7 in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and no. 6 in the Rhode Island 
School of Design, U.S.A. 


I ought to tell you that M r H. is quite agreeable to 
our return, & that there is all the appearance in the world 
of our being fully employ'd in Engraving for his pro- 
jected Works, Particularly Cowper's Milton, a Work now 
on foot by Subscription, & I understand that the Sub- 
scription goes on briskly. This work is to be a very Ele- 
gant one & to consist of All Milton's Poems, with Cowper's 
Notes and translations by Cowper from Milton's Latin & 
Italian Poems. 1 These works will be ornamented with 
Engravings from Designs from Romney, Flaxman & Y r 
hble Serv*, & to be Engrav'd also by the last mention'd. 
The Profits of the work are intended to be appropriated 
to Erect a Monument to the Memory of Cowper in S* 
PauPs or Westminster Abbey. Such is the Project & 
M r Addington & M r Pitt are both among the Sub- 
scribers, which are already numerous &,of the first rank; 
the price of the Work is Six Guineas-^Thus I hope that 
all our three years 5 trouble Ends in Good Luck at last & 
shall be forgot by my affections & only remember' d by 
my Understanding; to be a Memento in time to come, 
& to speak to future generations by a Sublime Allegory, 
which is now perfectly completed into a Grand Poem. I 
may praise it, since I dare not pretend to be any other 
than the Secretary; the Authors are in Eternity. I con- 
sider it as the Grandest Poem that this World Contains. 
Allegory address'd to the Intellectual powers, while it is 
altogether hidden from the Corporeal Understanding, is 
My Definition of the Most Sublime Poetry; it is also 
somewhat in the same manner defin'd by Plato. This 
Poem shall, by Divine Assistance, be progressively Printed 
& Ornamented with Prints & given to the Public. But 
of this work I take care to say little to M r H., since he 
is as much averse to my poetry as he is to a Chapter in 

1 Latin and Italian Poems of Milton translated into English verse . . . by the late 
William Cowper. Edited by William Hayley, 1808. The book contains two 
plates engraved by Raimbach after Flaxman, but none by Blake. 

the Bible. He knows that I have writ it, for I have shewn 
it to him, & he has read Part by his own desire & has 
looked with sufficient contempt to inhance my opinion 
of it. But I do not wish to irritate by seeming too 
obstinate in Poetic pursuits. But if all the World should 
set their faces against This, I have Orders to set my face 
like a flint (Ezekiel iiiC, gv) 1 against their faces, & my 
forehead against their foreheads. ) 

As to M r H., I feel myself at liberty to say as follows 
upon this ticklish subject: I regard Fashion in Poetry as 
little as I do in Painting; so, if both Poets & Painters 
should alternately dislike (but I know the majority of 
them will not), I am not to regard it at all, but M r H. 
approves of My Designs as little as he does of my Poems, 
and I have been forced to insist on his leaving me in 
both to my own Self Will; for I am determin'd to be no 
longer Pester 3 d with his Genteel Ignorance & Polite 
Disapprobation. I know myself both Poet & Painter, & 
it is not his affected Contempt that can move me to any 
thing but a more assiduous pursuit of both Arts. Indeed, 
by me late Firmness I have brought down his affected 
Loftiness, & he begins to think I have some Genius: as if 
Genius & Assurance were the same thing! but his im- 
becile attempts to depress Me only deserve laughter. I 
say thus much to you, knowing that you will not make 
a bad use of it. But it is a Fact too true That, if I had 
only depended on Mortal Things, both myself & my 
Wife must have been Lost. (I shall leave every one in 
This Country astonish' d at my Patience & Forbearance 
of Injuries upon Injuries; & I do assure you that, if I 
could have return 3 d to London a Month after my arrival 
here, I should have done so, but I was commanded by 
my Spiritual friends to bear all, to be silent, & to go thro' 

1 Ezekiel, iii. 8-9. "Behold I have made thy face strong against their faces, 
and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than 
flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their 
looks, though they be a rebellious house." 


all without murmuring, &, in fine, hope, till my three 
years should be almost accomplished; at which time I 
was set at liberty to remonstrate against former conduct 
& to demand Justice & Truth; which I have done in so 
effectual a manner that my antagonist is silenc'd com- 
pletely, & I have compell'd what should have been of 
freedom My Just Right as an Artist & as a Man; & 
if any attempt should be made to refuse me this, I am 
inflexible & will relinquish any engagement of Designing 
at all, unless altogether left to my own Judgment, As 
you, My dear Friend, have always left me, for which I 
shall never cease to honour & respect you,) 

When we meet, I will perfectly describe to you my 
Conduct & the Conduct of others toward me, & you will 
see that I have labour 3 d hard indeed, & have been borne 
on angel's wings. Till we meet I beg of God our Saviour 
to be with you & me, & yours & mine. Pray give my 
& my wife's love to M rs Butts & Family, & believe me 
to remain, 

Yours in truth & sincerity. 

Will Blake 
Felphamjuly 6. 1803 



The Information and Complaint of John Scofield, a 
Private Soldier in His Majesty's First Regiment of 
Dragoons, taken upon his Oath, this i5th Day of August, 
1803, before me One of His Majesty's Justices of the 
Peace, in and for the County aforesaid. 

Who saith that on the twelfth Day of this Instant, 
August, at the Parish of Felpham, in the County afore- 
said, one Blake, a Miniature Painter, and now 

residing in the said Parish of Felpham, did utter the 


following seditious expressions, viz, that we (meaning 
the People of England) were like a Parcel of Children, 
that they would play with themselves till they got 
scalded and burnt, that the French knew our Strength 
very well, and if Bonaparte should come he would be 
master of Europe in an Hour's Time, that England 
might depend upon it, that when he set his Foot on 
English Ground that every Englishman would have his 
choice, whether to have his Throat cut, or to join the 
French, & that he was a strong Man, and would certainly 
begin to cut Throats, and the strongest Man must 
conquer that he damned the King of England his 
Country, & his Subjects, that his Soldiers were all bound 
for Slaves, and all the Poor People in general that his 
Wife then came up, and said to him, this is nothing to 
you at present, but that the King of England would run 
himself so far into the Fire, that he might get himself out 
again, & altho 5 she was but a Woman, she would fight 
as long as she had a drop of Blood in her to which the 
Blake said, my Dear, you would not fight 

against France she replyed no, I would for Bonaparte 
as long as I am able that the said - Blake, then 
addressing himself to this Informant, said, tho' you are 
one of the King's Subjects, I have told what I have said 
before greater People than you, and that this Informant 
was sent by his Captain to Esquire Hayley to hear what 
he had to say, & to go and tell them that his Wife then 
told her said Husband to turn this Informant out of the 
Garden that this Informant thereupon turned round 
to go peacably out, when the said - Blake pushed this 
Deponant out of the Garden into the Road down which 
he followed this Informant, & twice took this Informant 
by the Collar without this Informant's making any Re- 
sistance, & at the same Time the said Blake damned the 
King, and said [his del.] the Soldiers were all Slaves - 

John Scofield 


Felpham, August 16. 1803 
Dear Sir, 

I send 7 Drawings, which I hope will please you; this, 

1 believe, about balances our account. Our return to 
London draws on apace; our Expectation of meeting 
again with you is one of our greatest pleasures. Pray tell 
me how your Eyes do. I never sit down to work but I 
think of you & feel anxious for the sight of that friend 
whose Eyes have done me so much good. I omitted 
(very unaccountably) to copy out in my last Letter that 
passage in my rough sketch which related to your kind- 
ness in offering to Exhibit my 2 last Pictures in the 
Gallery in Berners Street; it was in these Words: CC I 
sincerely thank you for your kind offer of Exhibiting my 

2 Pictures; the trouble you take on my account I trust 
will be recompensed to you by him who seeth in secret; 
if you should find it convenient to do so, it will be grate- 
fully remember'd by me among the other numerous 
kindnesses I have reciev'd from you." 

I go on with the remaining Subjects which you gave 
me commission to Execute for you, but shall not be able 
to send any more before my return, tho* perhaps I may 
bring some with me finished. (l am at Present in a Bustle 
to defend myself against a very unwarrantable warrant 
from a Justice of Peace in Chichester, which was taken 
out against me by a Private * in Gapt n Leathes's troop 
of i st or Royal Dragoons, for an assault & Seditious words. 
The wretched Man has terribly Perjur'd himself, as has 
his Comrade; 2 for, as to Sedition, not one Word relating 
to the King or Government was spoken by either him or 
me. His Enmity arises from my having turned him out 
of my Garden, into which he was invited as an assistant 
by a Gardener at work therein, without my knowledge 

1 John Scofield, or Scholfield. 2 Private Cock, 


that he was so invited. I desired him, as politely as was 
possible, to go out of the Garden; he made me an im- 
pertinent answer. I insisted on his leaving the Garden; 
he refused. I still persisted in desiring his departure; he 
then thr eaten 5 d to knock out my Eyes, with many 
abominable imprecations & with some contempt for my 
Person; it affronted my foolish Pride. I therefore took 
him by the Elbows & pushed him before me till I had 
got him out; there I intended to have left him, but he, 
turning about, put himself into a Posture of Defiance, 
threatening & swearing at me. I, perhaps foolishly & 
perhaps not, stepped out at the Gate, &, putting aside 
his blows, took him again by the Elbows, &, keeping his 
back to me, pushed him forwards down the road about 
fifty yards he all the while endeavouring to turn round 
& strike me, & raging & cursing, which drew out several 
neighbours; at length, when I had got him to where he 
was Quarter 'd, which was very quickly done, we were 
met at the Gate by the Master of the house, The Fox Inn 
(who is the proprietor of my Cottage), & his wife & 
Daughter & the Man's Comrade & several other people. 
My Landlord compelPd the Soldiers to go in doors, after 
many abusive threats against me & my wife from the two 
Soldiers; but not one word of threat on account of 
Sedition was utter 3 d at that time. This method of 
Revenge was Planned between them after they had got 
together into the Stable. This is the whole outline. I 
have for witnesses: The Gardener, who is Hostler at the 
Fox & who Evidences that, to his knowledge, no word 
of the remotest tendency to Government or Sedition was 
utter'd: Our next door Neighbour, a Miller's wife, who 
saw me turn him before me down the road, & saw & 
heard all that happen 5 d at the Gate of the Inn, who 
Evidences that no Expression of threatening on account 
of Sedition was utter'd in the heat of their fury by either 
the Dragoons; this was the woman's own remark, & does 


high honour to her good sense, as she observes that, 
whenever a quarrel happens, the offence is always re- 
peated. The Landlord of the Inn & His Wife & daughter 
will Evidence the Same, & will evidently prove the 
Comrade perjur'd, who swore that he heard me, while 
at the Gate, utter Seditious words & D the K , with- 
out which perjury I could not have been committed; & 
I had no witness with me before the Justices who could 
combat his assertion, as the Gardener remain' d in my 
Garden all the while, & he was the only person I thought 
necessary to take with me. I have been before a Bench 
of Justices at Chichester this morning; but they, as the 
Lawyer who wrote down the Accusation told me in 
private, are compelPd by the Military to suffer a prosecu- 
tion to be enter 5 d into: altho' they must know, & it is 
manifest, that the whole is a Fabricated Perjury. I have 
been forced to find Bail M r Hayley was kind enough 
to come forwards, & M r Seagrave, 1 Printer at Chich- 
ester; M r H. in ioo, & M r S. in 50^; & myself am 
bound in ioo for my appearance at the Quarter 
Sessions, which is after Michaelmass. So I shall have the 
satisfaction to see my friends in Town before this Con- 
temptible business comes on. I say Contemptible, for it 
must be manifest to every one that the whole accusation 
is a wilful Perjury. Thus, you see, my dear Friend, that 
I cannot leave this place without some adventure; it has 
struck a consternation thro' all the Villages round. 
Every Man is now afraid of speaking to, or looking at, a 
Soldier; for the peaceable Villagers have always been 
forward in expressing their kindness for us, & they ex- 
press their sorrow at our departure as soon as they hear 
of it. Every one here is my Evidence for Peace & Good 
Neighbourhood; & yet; such is the present state of things, 
this foolish accusation must be tried in Public. Well, I 

1 Printer of Hayley's Ballads, The Life ofCowper, The Triumphs of Temper, 
and other books by Hayley. 


am content, I murmur not & doubt not that I shall 
recieve Justice, & am only sorry for the trouble & ex- 
pense. I have heard that my Accuser is a disgraced 
Sergeant; his name is John Scholfield; perhaps it will be 
in your power to learn somewhat about the Man. I am 
very ignorant of what I am requesting of you; I only 
suggest what I know you will be kind enough to Excuse 
if you can learn nothing about him, & what, I as well 
know, if it is possible, you will be kind enough to do in 
this matter. 

\ Dear Sir, This perhaps was suffered to Clear up some 
doubts, & to give opportunity to those whom I doubted 
to clear themselves of all imputation. If a Man offends 
me ignorantly & not designedly, surely I ought to con- 
sider him with favour & affection. Perhaps the simplicity 
of myself is the origin of all offences committed against 
me. If I have found this, I shall have learned a most 
valuable thing, well worth three years' perseverance. I 
have found it. It is certain that a too passive manner, 
inconsistent with my active physiognomy, had done me 
much mischief. I must now express to you my conviction 
that all is come from the spiritual World for Good, & 
not for Evil J 

Give me your advice in my perilous adventure; burn 
what I have peevishly written about any friend. I have 
been very much degraded & injuriously treated; but if 
it all arise from my own fault, I ought to blame myself. 

O why was I born with a different face? 
Why was I not born like the rest of my race? 
When I look, each one starts! when I speak, I offend; 
Then I'm silent & passive & lose every Friend. 

Then my verse I dishonour, My pictures despise, 
My person degrade & my temper chastise; 
And the pen is my terror, the pencil my shame; 
All my Talents I bury, and dead is my Fame. 


I am either too low or too highly priz'd; 

When Elate I am Envy'd, When Meek I'm despis'd. 

This is but too just a Picture of my Present state. I 
pray God to keep you & all men from it, & to deliver me 
in his own good time. Pray write to me, & tell me how 
you & your family enjoy health. My much terrified Wife 
joins me in love to you & M rs Butts & all your family. 
I again take the liberty to beg of you to cause the 
Enclos'd Letter to be deliver'd to my Brother, & remain 
Sincerely & Affectionately Yours, 

William Blake 


[An Account amounting to 14. 14*. for eleven 
drawings, including The Three Maries, 1 delivered on 
July 8 and August 20, 1803.] 



Blake's Memorandum in Refutation of the Information 
and Complaint of John Scolfield, a private Soldier, &c. 

The Soldier has been heard to say repeatedly, that he 
did not know how the Quarrel began, which he would 
not say if such seditious words were spoken. 

Mrs. Haynes Evidences, that she saw me turn him 
down the Road, & all the while we were at the Stable 
Door, and that not one word of charge against me was 
uttered, either relating to Sedition or any thing else; all 
he did was swearing and threatening. 

Mr. Hosier heard him say that he would be revenged, 

1 Now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 


and would have me hanged if he could: He spoke this the 
Day after my turning him out of the Garden. Hosier says 
he is ready to give Evidence of this, if necessary. 

The Soldier's Comrade swore before the Magistrates, 
while I was present, that he heard me utter seditious 
words, at the Stable Door, and in particular, said, that 
he heard me D n the K g. Now I have all the Persons 
who were present at the Stable Door to witness that no 
Word relating to Seditious Subjects was uttered, either 
by one party or the other, and they are ready, on their 
Oaths, to say that I did not utter such Words. 

Mrs. Haynes says very sensibly, that she never heard 
People quarrel, but they always charged each other with 
the Offence, and repeated it to those around, therefore 
as the Soldier charged not me with Seditious Words at 
that Time, neither did his Comrade, the whole Charge 
must have been fabricated in the Stable afterwards. 

If we prove the Comrade perjured who swore that he 
heard me D n the K g, I believe the whole Charge 
falls to the Ground. 

Mr. Cosens, owner of the Mill at Felpham, was passing 
by in the Road, and saw me and the Soldier and William 
standing near each other; he heard nothing, but says we 
certainly were not quarrelling. 

The whole Distance that William could be at any Time 
of the Conversation between me and the Soldier (sup- 
posing such Conversation to have existed) is only 12 
Yards, & W says that he was backwards and forwards 
in the Garden. It was a still Day, there was no Wind 

William says on his Oath, that the first Words that he 
heard me speak to the Soldier were ordering him out of 
the Garden; the truth is, I did not speak to the Soldier 
till then, & my ordering him out of the Garden was 
occasioned by his saying something that I thought 

L.W.B. G 97 

The Time that I & the Soldier were together in the 
Garden was not sufficient for me to have uttered the 
Things that he alledged. 

The Soldier said to Mrs. Grinder, that it would be 
right to have my House searched, as I might have plans 
of the Country which I intended to send to the Enemy; 
he called me a Military Painter; I suppose [he del.] mis- 
taking the Words Miniature Painter, which he might 
have heard me called. I think that this proves, his having 
come into the Garden with some bad Intention, or at 
least with a prejudiced Mind. 

It is necessary to learn the Names of all that were 
present at the Stable Door, that we may not have any 
Witnesses brought against us, that were not there. 

All the Persons present at the Stable Door were, Mrs. 
Grinder and her Daughter, all the Time; Mrs. Haynes & 
her Daughter all the Time; Mr. Grinder, part of the 
Time; Mr. Hayley's Gardener part of the Time. Mrs. 
Haynes was present from my turning him out at my Gate, 
all the rest of the Time. What passed in the Garden, 
there is no Person but William & the Soldier, & myself 
can know. 

There was not any body in Grinder's Tap-room, but 
an Old Man, named Jones, who (Mrs. Grinder says) did 
not come out. He is the same Man who lately hurt his 
Hand, & wears it in a sling. 

The Soldier after he and his Comrade came together 
into the Tap-room, threatened to knock William's Eyes 
out (this was his often repeated Threat to me and to my 
Wife) because W refused to go with him to Chichester, 
and swear against me. William said that he would not 
take a false Oath, for that he heard me say nothing of 
the Kind (i.e. Sedition) Mr. Grinder then reproved the 
Soldier for threatening William, and Mr. Grinder said, 
that W should not go, because of those Threats, especi- 
ally as he was sure that no seditious Words were spoken. 

William's timidity in giving his Evidence before the 
Magistrates, and his fear of uttering a Falsehood upon 
Oath, proves him to be an honest Man, & is to me an 
host of Strength. I am certain that if I had not turned 
the Soldier out of my Garden, I never should have been 
free from his Impertinence & Intrusion. 

Mr. Hayley's Gardener came past at the Time of the 
Contention at the Stable Door, & going to the Comrade 
said to him, Is your Comrade drunk? a Proof that he 
thought the Soldier abusive, & in an Intoxication of 

If such a Perjury as this can take effect, any Villain in 
future may come & drag me and my Wife out of our 
House, & beat us in the Garden, or use us as he please, 
or is able, & afterwards go and swear our Lives away. 

Is it not in the Power of any Thief who enters a Man's 
Dwelling, & robs him, or misuses his Wife or Children, to 
go & swear as this Man has sworn. 


My admiration of Flaxman's genius is more and more 
his industry is equal to his other great powers. 

Speaks of his works in progress in his studio, and of 
various matters connected with art. [Extracts from sale 


London, October 7, 1803. 
Dear Sir, 

Your generous & tender solicitude about your devoted 
rebel makes it absolutely necessary that he should trouble 
you with an account of his safe arrival, which will excuse 
his begging the favor of a few lines to inform him how 


you escaped the contagion of the Court of Justice I fear 
that you have & must suffer more on my account than 
I shall ever be worth Arrived safe in London, my wife 
in very poor health, still I resolve not to lose hope of see- 
ing better days. 

(Art in London flourishes. Engravers in particular are 
wanted. Every Engraver turns away work that he cannot 
execute from his superabundant Employment. Yet no 
one brings work to me. I am content that it shall be so 
as long as God pleases. I know that many works of a 
lucrative nature are in want of hands; other Engravers 
are courted. I suppose that I must go a Courting, which 
I shall do awkwardly; in the mean time I lose no moment 
to complete Romney to satisfaction. 1 ^ 

How is it possible that a Man almost 50 Years of Age, 
who has not lost any of his life since he was five years old 
without incessant labour & study, how is it possible that 
such a one with ordinary common sense can be inferior 
to a boy of twenty, who scarcely has taken or deigns to 
take a pencil in hand, but who rides about the Parks or 
Saunters about the Playhouses, who Eats & drinks for 
business not for need, how is it possible that such a fop 
can be superior to the studious lover of Art can scarcely 
be imagined. Yet sucLis somewhat like my fate & such 
it is likely to remain, ^"et I laugh & sing, for if on Earth 
neglected I am in heaven a Prince among Princes, & even 
on Earth beloved by the Good as a Good Man; this I 
should be perfectly contented with, but at certain periods 
a blaze of reputation arises round me in which I am con- 
sider'd as one distinguish 5 d by some mental perfection, 
but the fla#ie soon dies again & I am left stupified and 
astonish'd. O that I could live as others do in a regular 
succession of Employment, this wish I fear is not to be 
accomplish'd to me Forgive this Dirge-like lamentation 
over a dead horse, & now I have lamented over the dead 

1 Blake engraved a head of Romney for Hayley's Life, but it was not used. 


horse let me laugh & be merry with my friends till Christ- 
mas, for as Man liveth not by bread alone, I shall live 
altho I should want bread nothing is necessary to me 
but to do my Duty & to rejoice in the exceeding joy that 
is always poured out on my Spirit, to pray that my friends 
& you above the rest may be made partakers of the joy 
that the world cannot concieve, that you may still be 
replenished with the same & be as you always have been, 
a glorious & triumphant Dweller in immortality.) Please 
to pay fdr me my best thanks to Miss Pooler tell her that 
I wish her a continued Excess of Happiness some say 
that Happiness is not Good for Mortals, & they ought to 
be answer'd that Sorrow is not fit for Immortals & is 
utterly useless to any one; a blight never does good to a 
tree, & if a blight kill not a tree but it still bear fruit, let 
none say that the fruit was in consequence of the blight. 
When this Soldier-like danger is over I will do double the 
work I do now, for it will hang heavy on my Devil who 
terribly resents it; but I soothe him to peace, & indeed he 
is a good natur'd Devil after all & certainly does not lead 
me into scrapes he is not in the least to be blamed for 
the present scrape, as he was out of the way all the time 
on other employment seeking amusement in making 
Verses, to which he constantly leads me very much to 
my hurt & sometimes to the annoyance of my friends; 
as I percieve he is now doing the same work by my letter, 
I will finish it, wishing you health & joy in God our 


To Eternity yours, 

Will m Blake 


Dear Sir, 

I hasten to write to you by the favour of Mr. Edwards. 
I have been with Mr. Saunders, who has now in his 


possession all Mr. Romney's pictures that remained after 
thesale atHampstead; I saw "Milton and his Daughters", 
and "'Twas where the Seas were Roaring", and a beauti- 
ful "Female Head". He has promised to write a list of 
all that he has in his possession, and of all that he remem- 
bers of Mr. Romney's paintings, with notices where they 
now are, so far as his recollection will serve. The picture 
of "Christ in the Desert" he supposes to be one of those 
which he has rolled on large rollers. He will take them 
down and unroll them, but cannot do it easily, as they 
are so large as to occupy the whole length of his work- 
shop, and are laid across beams at the top. 

Mr. Flaxman is now out of town. When he returns I 
will lose no time in setting him to work on the same object. 

I have got to work after Fuseli for a little Shakespeare. 1 
Mr. Johnson, the bookseller, tells me that there is no 
want of work. So far you will be rejoiced with me, and 
your words, "Do not fear you can want employment!" were 
verified the morning after I received your kind letter; but 
I go on finishing Romney with spirit, and for the relief 
of variety shall engage in other little works as they arise. 

I called on Mr. Evans, 2 who gives small hopes of our 
ballads; he says he has sold but fifteen numbers at the 
most, and that going on would be a certain loss of almost 
all the expenses. I then proposed to him to take a part 
with me in publishing them on a smaller scale, which he 
declined on account of its being out of his line of business 
to publish, and a line in which he is determined never to 
engage, attaching himself wholly to the sale of fine edi- 
tions of authors and curious books in general. He advises 
that some publisher should be spoken to who would pur- 

1 The Plays of William Shakespeare, eel Alexander Chalmers, 10 vols. 
London, 1805. Blake engraved two plates after Fuseli's designs for this 
edition "Queen Katherine's Dream" (vol. VII, facing p. 235) and 
"Romeo and the Apothecary" (vol. X, facing p. 107). 

2 R. H. Evans, bookseller, Pall Mall, London, is given on the title-page 
of the quarto Ballads as having the book on sale. 


chase the copyright: and, as far as I can judge of the 
nature of publication, no chance is left to one out of the 
trade. Thus the case stands at present. 1 God send better 
times! Everybody complains, yet all go on cheerfully and 
with spirit. The shops in London improve; everything is 
elegant, clean, and neat; the streets are widened where 
they were narrow; even Snow Hill is become almost level, 
and is a very handsome street, and the narrow part of the 
Strand near St. Clement's is widened and become very 

My wife continues poorly, but fancies she is better in 
health here than by the seaside. We both sincerely pray 
for the health of Miss Poole, and for all our friends in 
Sussex, and remain, dear sir, 

Your sincere and devoted servants, 

W. and G. Blake 
South Molton Street 

26 October 1803 


Dear Sir, 

I write in a violent hurry. Your Letter has never 
arrived to me. M rs Lambert has been with me, which is 
the first notice I had of the Letter or of the drawing. I 
have fetched the drawing from M r Rose & have shew'd 
it to M r Flaxman, who approves of it, wishing only that 
the Monument 2 itself may be more made out & the 
other Monument in the back Ground kept in a lower tint. 

1 A small 8 edition of the Ballads with five plates was, in fact, published 
in 1805. See p. 146. 

2 Cowper's Monument in East Dereham Church, Norfolk. Blake en- 
graved two plates of this for vol. Ill of Hayley's Life of Cowper, 1803-4: 
"A View of St. Edmund's Chapel in the Church of East Dereham, contain- 
ing the Grave of William Cowper, Esq.", engraved from a drawing by 
Francis Stone, and "A Sketch of the Monument Erected in the Church of 
East Dereham in Norfolk, in Memory of William Cowper, Esq re ", from the 
original model by John Flaxman. 


The little oval tablet on the side by Cowper's Monument 
he tells me is M rs Unwinds; of course that shall be 
distinguish 5 d. 

I have a great many things to say & a great many 
heartfelt acknowledgments to express, particularly for 
your tens, which are hundreds to me, nay thousands. I 
am going on with success : business comes in & I shall be at 
ease if this infernal business of the soldier can be got over. 

I have seen M r Saunders & enquir'd of him whether 
he has any of M r Romney's [Sketches del.] Historical 
Sketches: he says that he sent a great part of them to the 
North & explain' d the North by saying that [M r Romney 
del.] M r John Romney 1 has a dwelling in the north. M r 
Flaxman supposes that if some of the most distinguish' d 
designs of M r Romney, of which M r Saunders has a good 
many, were Engrav'd, they would be an appropriate 
accompaniment to the Life of Romney; the expense 
would not be very great & the merit of the designs an 
object of consequence. 

M r Saunders will shortly write to you giving you every 
information in his power with notices of where M r 
Romney's best pictures now are & other articles collected 
from every Fountain he can visit. 

I send the five copies of Cowper's Plates, which you 
will recieve with this & have only time to say, because I 
shall be too late for the carriage. 

God bless you & preserve you & reward your kindness 
to me 

Will Blake 

Tuesday night 
13 Dec r 1803 

P.S. My wife is better; we are very anxious about Miss 
Poole's health & shall be truly happy to hear that it is 

1 Romney's only surviving son (1758-1832). He afterwards quarrelled 
with Hayley and attacked him in his Life of Romney 3 1830. 


perfectly restored. M r Romney's Portrait goes on with 
spirit. I do not send a proof because I cannot get one, 
the Printers [being del.] having been this afternoon un- 
able or unwilling & my Press not yet being put up. 



The Speech of Counsellor Rose In Defence of 

Blake the Artist 
at the Ghichester Sessions Jan. n 1804 

taken in short Hand by the Revd. 

Mr. Youatt 
Gentlemen of the Jury, 

I perfectly agree with my learned friend, with regard 
to the atrocity & malignity of the charge now laid before 
you. I am also much obliged to him, for having given me 
the credit, that no justification, or extenuation of such a 
charge would have been attempted by me, supposing the 
charge could have proved to your satisfaction; & I must 
be permitted to say, that it is a credit which I deserve. 
If there be a man, who can be found guilty of such a 
transgression he must apply to some other person to 
defend him, if a palliation of such an offence becomes 
part of the duty of his counsel. I certainly think that such 
an offence is incapable of extenuation. My task is to 
shew that my client is not guilty of the words imputed 
to him. It is not to shew that they are capable of any 
mitigated sense. We stand here not merely in form, but 
in sincerity & truth, to declare that we are not guilty. 
I am instructed to say, that M r Blake is as loyal a subject 
as any man in this court: that he feels as much indig- 
nation at the idea of exposing to contempt or injury the 
sacred person of his sovereign as any man: that his 


indignation is equal to that, which I doubt not every one 
of you felt, when the charge was first stated to you. 

Gentlemen, this is a very uncommon accusation it is 
foreign to our natures & opposite to our habits. Do you 
not hear everyday from the mouths of thousands in the 
streets the exclamation of God save the King: it is the 
language of every Englishman's lip it is the effusion of 
every Englishman's heart. The charge therefore laid in 
the indictment is an offence of so extraordinary a nature, 
that evidence of the most clear, positive, & unobjection- 
able kind is necessary to induce you to believe it. Extra- 
ordinary vices, Gentlemen, are very rare, as well as extra- 
ordinary virtues; indeed the term extraordinary implies 
as much. There is no doubt that the crime which is laid 
to the charge of my client, is a crime of most extraordinary 
malignity. I choose the term malignity purposely for if 
the offence be clearly proved I am willing to allow, that 
public malignity and indelible disgrace are fixed upon 
my client. If on the other hand when you have heard the 
witnesses which I shall call, you should be led to believe 
that it is a fabrication for the purpose of answering some 
scheme of revenge you will have little difficulty in decid- 
ing that it is still greater malignity on the part of the 
witness Scholfield. 

Gentlemen, the greater the offence charged the greater 
the improbability of its being true. I will state to you the 
situation of" M r Blake & it will be for you to judge 
whether it is probable he should be guilty of the crime 

He is an artist, who tho' not a native here, has lived in 
your part of the country for 2 or 3 years. He is an en- 
graver. He was brought into this country by M r Hayley, 
a gentleman well known to you, & whose patriotism & 
loyalty have never been impeached. Blake was previ- 
ously known to M r Hayley. I think I need not state that 
M r Hayley would never have brought M r Blake into 

1 06 

this part of the country, & given him encouragement, if 
he conceived it possible that he could have uttered these 
sentiments. M r Hayley from his previous knowledge of 
him was certain that he was not the seditious character 
here represented. 

Gentlemen, the story is very improbable, if we farther 
consider M r Blake's situation. M r Blake is engaged as 
an engraver. He has a wife [& family del.] to support: 
that wife & himself he has supported by his art an art, 
which has a tendency, like all the other fine arts, to soften 
every asperity of feeling & of character, & to secure the 
bosom from the influence of those tumultuous & discord- 
ant passions, which destroy the happiness of mankind. 
If any men are likely to be exempt from angry passions 
it is such an one as M r Blake. He had resided in this 
village for some time, when you have heard one day the 
witness Scholfield came into his garden for the purpose 
of delivering a message to the ostler, there he continues 
for some time without any apparent reason. But I will 
just make this observation in addition to what I have said 
of the great incredibility of so infamous a crime being 
committed by such an individual the proof adduced 
ought to be uniform, consistent & clear, so much as to 
leave no doubt of the veracity of those persons who come 
forward not only so it should proceed from characters 
of unimpeachable credit those who have acted in such 
a way, that you can be morally certain no temptation 
whatever will induce them to speak what is not true. The 
first witness is in a different situation from what he has 
been he was once in a superior, but now appears in an 
inferior, rank. Now Gentlemen, merit always promotes 
a man misconduct degrades him misconduct not only 
degrades him in his situation, but in the consideration of 
all men, who know the circumstances. This Man was 
once a Serjeant he is now a private. He says he was 
degraded an account of drunkeness. He is degraded, be 


it from what cause it may & he certainly does not stand 
before you under the most favourable circumstances, nor 
is he entitled to that credit, which you would have given 
him, if by his good conduct he had continued in his 
former situation, or raised himself to a higher. He tells 
you a story, which to be sure requires a great deal of 
faith in order to believe it because it is an unaccount- 
able story. He was in Blake's garden talking to the Ostler 
he came to tell him that he could not do the job he was 
to do, for he was order' d to march to Ghichester that he 
had but few words to say, & no time to spare, yet we find 
him lounging about leaning against the garden wall. 
That M r Blake came out, & without any provocation, 
without one word being spoken on either side, began to 
utter these expressions (the words in the Indictment). 
These expressions divide themselves into 2 classes some 
of them deserve the reprobation, which my learned friend 
has bestowed upon them others are so absurd & un- 
intelligible, that he with all his ingenuity has not 
attempted to explain them as cut throat for cut throat. 
It does not appear what can be meant. If you are able 
to understand them, I honestly confess, that after no small 
pains bestowed on the point, I cannot. The witness at 
one time asserted, that these words were spoken to him, 
then he was doubting whether they were addressed to 
M rs Blake at last he asserts again that they were spoken 
to him. Gentlemen, you will take notice that the Ostler 
was all this time working in the Garden this Garden I 
shall be able to prove to you did not contain above 10 
yards square no words consequently could have been 
uttered without every person in the Garden hearing 
them, especially when Scholfield acknowledged that they 
were talking rather high. The Ostler is allowed to have 
been in the Garden, he was in a situation to hear all that 
passed, & he will prove to you by & bye that he heard no 
such expressions uttered by M r Blake. 

1 08 

Here then, Gentlemen, is a charge attended with cir- 
cumstances of the most extraordinary nature. A man 
comes out of his house for the purpose of addressing a 
malignant & unintelligible discourse to those who are 
most likely to injure him for it. A person exerting such 
an art, tending to render him indifferent to the factions 
& disputes of the world, uttering this discourse without 
any inducement whatsoever, & stated by the witness to 
have been uttered in the presence of one, who will 
presently tell you that no such words were uttered. All 
this as to the words which are represented to have been 
spoken to the soldier, & you will not forget that the man 
who has given you this testimony, is a man who so far 
from being thought worthy of reward, has been degraded. 

The second witness states that there was a noise in the 
street, he was at work in the stable, & came out in con- 
sequence of the noise, he saw M r Blake and Scholfield in 
the act of collaring each other, and M rs Grinder separ- 
ated them that M rs G was as near to Blake as 

Cock was, [because she was the person who separated 
them del.] he states that without any farther provocation 
or hearing any words from Scholfield or Blake, Blake 
uttered these words, damn the King, damn the country, 

you soldiers are all slaves. M rs G I shall call to 

you & she will state that she was as near M r Blake as 
Cock was, & heard no such words. I would observe, in 
order to shew that there is a small difference between the 
testimony of Cock & Scholfield, that when Scholfield was 
asked if any thing had been uttered beside the words 
which were spoken in the garden, he replied no. Schol- 
field confines himself to the words in the Garden the 
oth^r says they were uttered before the public house. If 
they were spoken in the Garden the Ostler must have 
heard them. If they were uttered before the public-house 
M rs G. must have heard them too. I will call these 
witnesses & you shall hear their account you will then 


agree with me that they totally overthrow the testimony 
of these Soldiers. 


London Jan y 14. 1804 

Dear Sir, 

I write immediately on my arrival. Not merely to in- 
form you that I am safe arriv'd, but also to inform you 
that in a conversation with an old Soldier who came in 
the Coach with me I learned: that no one: not even the 
most expert horseman: ought ever to mount a Trooper's 
Horse; they are taught so many tricks such as stopping 
short, falling down on their knees, running sideways, & in 
various & innumerable ways endeavouring to throw the 
rider, that it is a miracle if a stranger escapes with Life, 
All this I learn'd with some alarm & heard also what the 
soldier said confirm' d by another person in the coach. I 
therefore as it is my duty beg & intreat you never to 
mount that wicked horse again, nor again trust to one 
who has been so Educated. God our Saviour watch over 
you & preserve you. 

I have seen Flaxman already as I took to him early this 
morning your present to his Scholar; he & his are all well 
& in high spirits & welcomed Me with kind affection & 
generous exultation in my escape from the arrows of dark- 
ness* I intend to see M rs Lambert & M r Johnson book- 
seller this afternoon. My poor wife has been near the 
Gate of Death as was supposed by our kind & attentive 
fellow inhabitant, the young & very amiable M rs Enoch, 
who gave my wife all the attention that a daughter could 
pay to a mother, but my arrival has dispelPd the formid- 
able malady & my dear & good woman again begins to 
resume her health & strength. Pray my dear Sir favour 
me with a line concerning your health & how you have 


escaped the double blow both from the wicked horse & 
from your innocent humble servant, whose heart & soul 
are more & more drawn out towards you & Felpham & 
its kind inhabitants. I feel anxious, & therefore pray to 
my God & father for the health of Miss Poole: hope that 
the pang of affection & gratitude is the Gift of God for 
good. I am thankful that I feel it; it draws the soul to- 
wards Eternal life & conjunction with Spirits of just men 
made perfect by love & gratitude the two angels who 
stand at heaven's gate ever open, ever inviting guests to 
the marriage. O foolish Philosophy! Gratitude is Heaven 
itself; there could be no heaven without Gratitude. I feel 
it & I know it. I thank God & Man for it & above all 
You, My dear friend & benefactor in the Lord. Pray give 
my & my wife's duties to Miss Poole; accept them your- 
self & believe me to be, 

Yours in sincerity, 

Will m Blake 


Dear Sir, 

Your eager expectation of hearing from me compells 
me to write immediately, tho' I have not done half the 
business I wish'd owing to a violent cold which confin'd 
me to my bed 3 days & to my chamber a week. I am 
now so well (thank God) as to get out & have accord- 
ingly been to M r Walker's * who is not in town being at 
Birmingham where he will remain 6 weeks or 2 Months. 
I took my Portrait of Romney as you desired to shew him: 
his son was likewise not at home: but I will again call on 
M r Walker Jun r & beg him to shew me the Pictures, & 
make every enquiry of him, If you think best: M r San- 
ders has one or two large Cartoons, The Subjects he does 

1 Adam Walker (1731-1821), author and inventor, an old friend of 
Romney. * 


not know, they are folded up on the top of his workshop, 
the rest he pack'd up & sent into the North. I shew'd 
your Letter to M r John Romney to M r Flaxman who 
was perfectly satisfied with it. I seaPd & sent it immedi- 
ately as directed by M r Sanders to Kendall, Westmore- 
land. M r Sanders expects M r Romney in town soon. 
Note, Your Letter to M r J. Romney I sent off the morn- 
ing after I reciev'd it from you, being then in health. I 
have taken your noble present to M r Rose & left it with 
charge to the Servant of Great Care; the Writing looks 
very pretty. I was fortunate in doing it myself & hit it 
off excellently. I have not seen M r Rose, 1 tho 3 he is in 
town. M r Flaxman is not at all acquainted with S r Allan 
Ghambre, 2 recommends me to enquire concerning him 
of M r Rose; my brother says he believes S r Allan is a 
Master in Chancery. Tho' I have calPd on M r Edwards 
twice for Lady Hamilton's 3 direction, was so unfortunate 
as to find him out both times. I will repeat my call on 
him tomorrow morning. 

My Dear Sir, I write now to satisfy you that all is in 
a good train. I am going on briskly with the Plates, find 
every thing promising. Work in Abundance; & if God 
blesses me with health doubt not yet to make a Figure 
in the Great dance of Life that shall amuse the Spectators 
in the Sky. I thank you for my Demosthenes 4 which is 
now become a noble subject My Wife gets better every 
Day: hope earnestly that you have entirely escaped the 
brush of my Evil Star, which I believe is now for ever 
fallen into the Abyss God bless & preserve You and our 
Good Lady Paulina with the Good things both of this life 

1 Samuel Rose, Blake's counsel at his trial. 

2 Sir Alan Chambr (1739-1823), judge; Recorder of Lancaster; Baron 
of the Exchequer, 1799. His portrait was painted by Romney. 

3 Emma Hart, Lady Hamilton, Nelson's mistress and Romney's most 
frequent sitter. 

4 "The Death of Demosthenes", engraved by Blake after Thomas Hayley, 
for William Hayley's Essay on Sculpture, 1800, 4. 


& of eternity & with you my much admired & respected 
Edward the Bard of Oxford 1 whose verses still sound 
upon my Ear like the distant approach of things mighty 
& magnificent; like the sound of harps which I hear 
before the Sun's rising, like the remembrance of Fel- 
pham's waves & of all the Glorious & far beaming Turret, 
like the Villa of Lavant, 2 blessed & blessing. Amen. God 
bless you all O people of Sussex around your Hermit & 
Bard. So prays the Emulator of both his & your mild & 
happy tempers of Soul. Your devoted 

Will Blake 
S th Molton Street 
Fridayjan y 27 1804 


23 FEBRUARY 1804 

Dear Sir, 

I call'd Yesterday on M r Braithwaite, 3 as you desired, 
& found him quite as chearful as you describe him, & by 
his appearance should not have supposed him to be near 
sixty, notwithstanding he was shaded by a green shade 
over his Eyes. He gives a very spirited assurance of M r 
John Romney's interesting himself in the great object of 
his Father's Fame, & thinks that he must be proud of 
such a work & in such hands. The Picture from Sterne, 4 

1 Probably "Edward Marsh, of Oriel College, who, when visiting Hayley 
while Blake was also his frequent guest and fellow-labourer, had been wont 
to read aloud to them the Hermit's own compositions in a singularly 
melodious voice" (see Gilchrist's Life, 1880, i, 203). 

2 i.e. Miss Poole's villa. 

3 Daniel Braithwaite, controller of the Foreign department of the Post 
Office, was Romney's earliest patron, in 1762; it was to him that Hayley 
dedicated his Life ofRomney. 

4 Probably "The Introduction of Dr. Slop into the Parlour of Mr. 
Shandy", a scene from Tristram Shandy, painted c. 1 757, which was engraved 
for the Life ofRomney by W. Haines. 

L.W.B. H 113 

which you desired him to procure for you, he has not yet 
found where it is. Supposes that it may be in the north, 
& that he may learn from M r Romney, who will be in 
town soon. M r B. desires I will present his Compliments 
to you, & write you that he has spoken with M r Read 
concerning the Life of Romney; he interests himself in it, 
& has promised to procure dates of premiums. Pictures, 
& c , M r Read having a number of Articles relating to 
Romney, either written or printed, which he promises to 
copy out for your use, as also the Catalogue of Hamp- 
stead Sale. He shew'd me a very fine Portrait of M rs 
Siddons (by Romney) as the Tragic Muse, half-length, 
that is, the Head & hands, & in his best Style. He also 
desires me to express to you his wish that you would give 
the Public an Engraving of that Medallion by your Son's 
matchless hand, 1 which is placed over his chimney piece 
between two little pretty pictures, correct & enlarged 
copies from antique Gems, of which the center ornament 
is worthy; he says that it is by far, in his opinion, the 
most exact resemblance of Romney he ever saw. I have, 
furthermore, the pleasure of informing you that he knew 
immediately my Portrait of Romney, & assured me that 
he thought it a very great likeness. 

I wish I could give you a Pleasant account of our 
beloved Counsellor; 2 he, Alas! was ill in bed when I 
call'd yesterday at about 12 O'clock, & the servant said 
that he remains very ill indeed. 

M r Walker, I have been so unfortunate as not to find 
at home, but I will call again in a day or two. Neither 
M r Flaxman nor M r Edwards know Lady Hamilton's 
address; the house S r William liv'd in in Piccadilly She 
left some time ago. M r Edwards will procure her address 
for you, & I will send it immediately. 

I have inclosM for you the 22 Numbers of Fuseli's 

1 The medallion of Romney by Thomas Hayley was engraved for the 
Life by Caroline Watson. 2 Samuel Rose. 


Shakespeare x that are out, & the book of Italian Letters 
from M rs Flaxman, who with her admirable husband 
present their best Compliments to you; he is so busy that 
I believe I shall never see him again but when I call on 
him, for he has never yet, since my return to London, 
had the time or grace to call on me, M rs Flaxman & her 
Sisters gave also their testimony to my Likeness of Rom- 
ney. M r Flaxman I have not yet had an opportunity of 
consulting about it, but soon will. 

I inclose likewise the Academical Correspondence of 
M r Hoare 2 the Painter, whose note to me I also in- 
close, for I did but express to him my desire of sending 
you a Copy of his work, & the day after I reciev'd it 
with the note Expressing his pleasure [of your del.] in 
your wish to see it. You would be much delighted 
with the Man, as I assure myself you will be with his 

The plates of Cowper's Monument are both in great 
forwardness, & you shall have Proofs in another week. 
I assure you that I will not spare pains, & am myself very 
much satisfied that I shall do my duty & produce two 
Elegant plates; there is, however, a great deal of work in 
them that must & will have time. 

"Busy, Busy, Busy, I bustle along, 
"Mounted upon warm Phoebus's rays, 
"Thro 5 the heavenly throng." 

But I hasten' d to write to you about M r Braithwaite; 
hope when I send my proofs to give as good an account 
of M r Walker. 

1 The Plays of Shakespeare, ed. George Steevens and Alexander Chalmers, 
illustrated with engravings after designs by Fuseli, in 10 vols., 1804-5. Two 
of the plates, "Queen Katherine's Dream" (vol. VII) and "Romeo and the 
Apothecary" (vol. X) were engraved by Blake. See also pp. 1 18, 132. 

2 Prince Hoare (1755-1834), painter and author of several works, includ- 
ing Academic Correspondence, 1803, 4, with frontispiece of a bust of Geres 
engraved by Blake after Flaxman. 

My wife joins me in Respects & Love to you, & desires 
with mine to present hers to Miss Poole. 

I remain, Dear Sir, Your Sincere, 

Will Blake 

S th Molton Street 
23 Feb y 1804 


Dear Sir, 

I begin with the latter end of your letter & grieve more 
for Miss Poolers ill-health than for my failure in sending 
proofs, tho' I am very sorry that I cannot send before 
Saturday's Coach. Engraving is Eternal work; the two 
plates 1 are almost finished. You will recieve proofs of them 
for Lady Hesketh, whose copy of Cowper's letters ought 
to be printed in letters of Gold & ornamented with Jewels 
of Heaven, Havilah, Eden & all the countries where 
Jewels abound. I curse & bless Engraving alternately, 
because it takes so much time & is so untractable, tho' 
capable of such beauty & perfection. 

My wife desires me to Express her Love to you, Praying 
for Miss Poole's perfect recovery, & we both remain, 

Your Affectionate, 

Will Blake 
March 12 



Dear Sir, 

According to your Desire I send proofs of the Monu- 
mental Plates tho 5 as you will percieve they have not the 
last touches especially the Plate of the Monument which 

1 The plates of Gowper's monument. 


I have drawn from M r Flaxman's Model with all the 
fidelity I could & will finish with equal care, the writing 
being exactly copied from the tracing paper which was 
traced on the marble. The inscriptions to the Plates I 
must beg of you to send to me that I may Engrave them 

The drawing of the Monument which M r Johnson 
sent has the following Inscription "Monument Erected 
to the Memory of William Cowper Esq re in S* Edmunds 
Chapel East Dereham by the Lady Hesketh 1803" But 
it strikes me that S* Edmund's Chapel East Dereham 
may be understood to mean a Chapel in East Dereham 
Town & not to Express sufficiently that the Monument 
is in East Dereham Church. Owing to my determination of 
sending you Proofs I have not been able to consult M r 
Flaxman about the Designs of M r Romney which are at 
Saunders 5 . I calPd once on M r F. but he was not at 
home so could not spare more time, but will now im- 
mediately proceed in that business. The Pleasure I 
reciev'd from your kind Letter ought to make me assidu- 
ous & it does so. That M r John Romney is so honest as 
to expose to you his whole absurd prejudice gives hopes 
that he may prove worthy of his father, & that he should 
tell such inconsistent surmizes proves that they will soon 
be eradicated & forgotten. You who was his father's best 
friend will I hope become the most respected object of his 
love & admiration. 

I calFd on M r Hoare with your Elegant & Heart lift- 
ing Compliment; he was not at home. I left it with a 
short note, have not seen him since. 

M r Rose I am happy to hear is getting quite well. 
Hope to hear the same good account of our most admir- 
able & always anxiously remember'd Miss Poole. 

M r Braithwaite calPd on me & brought two Prints 
which he desires may be sent to you (with his Compli- 
ments) (which you will find inclosed) one is a copy from 


that Miniature you kindly suffered me to make from the 
Picture of Romney which I am now Engraving & which 
was lent by M r Long * for the purpose of being En- 
graved for the European Mag ne - The other is M rs 
Siddons from the Picture by Romney in M r Braith- 
waite's possession, but as much unlike the original as 

My Wife joins me in best affections to you 

& I remain Sincerely Yours 

Will Blake 

1 6 March 1804 

I enclose also N 23 of the Shakspeare. 


Dear Sir, 

I send two Proofs of Each of the Monumental Plates 
with the writing, which I hope will please. Should have 
sent the twelve of each if I had not wish'd to improve 
them still more, & because I had not enough paper in 
proper order for printing: beg pardon for the omission of 
M r Baithwaite's two Prints, as also for omitting to men- 
tion M r Hoare's grateful sensation on His reception of 
your very beautiful Verses. I now send you his note to 
Me, as I think it will give you a good idea of this good 
& excellent Man. 

I have been to look at the Drawings & Picture, but 
Flaxman has not yet been able to go with me. Am sorry 

1 William Long (1747-1818), F.R.S., F.S.A., assistant surgeon, St. Bar- 
tholomew's Hospital and Master of the College of Surgeons in 1800. He 
was a friend of both Flaxman and Hayley, and possessed a copy of Blake's 
Poetical Sketches (see Keynes, Blake Studies, p. 35). He sat to Romney as his 
first subject for a portrait (see "William Long, F.R.S." by W. E. Thompson, 
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons, xiii, 1951, p. 55). 


to inform you that one of the drawings which M r Rom- 
ney destined for you is Lost or at least cannot now be 
found: it is that of the Witch raising the Storm. M r 
Romney says that in lieu of the lost drawing you shall 
have choice of either of the remaining ones of which 
Sanders says there are several, but I only saw one more 
because I would not give much trouble as Flaxman was 
not with me. The Drawing I saw is of a Female Figure 
with a Serpent in one hand & a torch in the other both 
held above her head & a figure kneeling at her feet; it is 
a very sublime drawing & would make an Excellent Print 
but I will not advise any thing till Flaxman sees them. 
The drawing of Pliny in the Eruption of Vesuvius is very 
clever & indeed a Sublime, but very unfinished. Sketch 
The Picture of the Man on horseback rescuing the 
drowning people is a beautiful Performance. 1 M r Saun- 
ders says that he has orders from M r Romney to deliver 
the Picture & two drawings to any person whom you 
shall authorize to recieve them. They are somewhat 
batter'd, but not so much as I expected for I remember, 
& Saunders says, that they never were properly strained 
upon their straining frames. 

We both rejoice that Miss Poole is better, but hope & 
pray for her intire recovery. 

My wife joins me in sincere love to you: please to 
remember us both affectionately & gratefully to Miss 

& believe me to remain, Ever Yours, 

Will Blake 

Sth Molton Street 
March 21, 1804 

i Romney's oil sketch, "The Shipwreck", engraved by Blake for Hayley's 
Life of Romney, 4, 1809. Blake's pencil drawing done from the picture is 
now in the Print Room of the British Museum. The picture illustrates a 
story from the travels of Thunberg of a horseman, Wolfemad, who rescued 
shipwrecked people from the sea at the Cape of Good Hope. 



Dear Sir, 

I did not recieve your Letter till Monday: of course 
could not have got them Printed to send by tuesday's 
Coach. But there is a real reason equally good why I 
have not yet sent. I hope you will believe me when I say 
that my solicitude to bring them to perfection has caused 
this delay, as also not being quite sure that you had 
Copies ready for them. I could not think of delivering 
the 12 Copies without giving the last touches, which are 
always the best. I have now, I hope, given them & we 
directly go to Printing. Consequently it will be by Tues- 
day's Coach that you will recieve 12 of Each. If you do 
not wish any more done before I deliver, then pray favor 
me with a line that I may send the Plates to Johnson, 
who wants them to set the Printer to work upon. 
I remain In Engraver's hurry, which is 
the worst & most unprofitable of hurries, 
Your Sincere & Affectionate, 

Will Blake 
St Molton S* 
March 31. 1804 


2 April, 1804. 

. . . Mr. Flaxman advises that the drawing of Mr. 
Romney's which shall be chosen instead of the Witch (if 
that cannot be recovered), be Hecate, the figure with 
the torch and snake, which he thinks one of the finest 
drawings. The twelve impressions of each of the plates 
which I now send ought to be unrolled immediately that 
you receive them and put under somewhat to press them 
flat. You should have had fifteen of each, but I had not 
paper enough in proper order for printing. There is now 

1 20 

in hand a new edition of Flaxman's Homer ^ with addi- 
tional designs, two of which I am now engraving. I am 
uneasy at not hearing from Mr. Dally, 2 to whom I en- 
closed 15 in a letter a fortnight ago, by his desire. I 
write to him by this post to inquire about it. Money in 
these times is not to be trifled with. I have now cleared 
the way to Romney, in whose service I now enter again 
with great pleasure, and hope soon to show you my zeal 
with good effect. Am in hopes that Miss Poole is re- 
covered, as you are silent on that most alarming and 
interesting topic in both your last letters. God be with 
you in all things. My wife joins me in this prayer. 
I am, dear Sir, 

Your sincerely affectionate, 

Willm. Blake 


Dear Sir, 

You can have no Idea, unless you was in London as I 
am, how much your Name is lov'd & respected. I have 
the Extreme pleasure of transmitting to you one proof of 
this Respect which you will be pleased with & I hope 
will adopt & embrace. It comes thro' M r Hoare from 
" M r Phillips 3 of S* Pauls Church Yard; it is as yet an intire 
secret between M r P, M r H, & myself & will remain so 

1 Flaxman's Iliad of Homer, 1805, with 40 plates, three of which were 
engraved by Blake. 

2 Mr. Dally has not been identified. It can only be guessed that he was 
a solicitor in Ghichester who had acted for Blake at his trial. The money 
was probably not due for the services of Blake's counsel, Samuel Rose, who 
wrote to Dr. Farr, his father-in-law, on 5 May 1804: "Mrs B. will probably 
have told you I was highly complimented by the Duke of Richmond for 
my Defense of Blake, and magnificently remunerated by Hayley" (see 
G. E. Bentley, jr., Notes & Queries, March 1955). 

3 Sir Richard Phillips (1767-1840), bookseller and publisher, proprietor 
of the Monthly Magazine. The project described by Blake was never carried 
out. Phillips published the 1805 edition of Hayley's Ballads, with Blake's 


till you have given Your Decision M r Phillips is a man 
of vast spirit & enterprize with a solidity of character 
which few have; he is the man who applied to Cowper 
for that sonnet in favor of a Prisoner at Leicester which 
I believe you thought fit not to Print. So you see he is 
spiritually adjoin'd with us. His connections throughout 
England & indeed Europe & America enable him to 
Circulate Publications to an immense Extent & he told 
M r Hoare that on the present work which he proposes 
to commence with your assistance he can afford to ex- 
pend 2,000 a year. M r Phillips considers you as the Great 
Leading character in Literature & his terms to others will 
amount to only one Quarter of what he proposes to you. 
I send Inclos'd his Terms as M r Hoare by my desire has 
given them to me in writing. Knowing your aversion to 
Reviews & Reviewing I consider the Present Proposal as 
peculiarly adapted to your Ideas; it may be calPd a 
Defence of Literature against those pests of the Press & 
a bulwark for Genius, which shall with your good assist- 
ance disperse those Rebellious Spirits of Envy & Malig- 
nity. In short: If you see it as I see it, you will embrace 
this Proposal on the Score of Parental Duty. Literature 
is your Child. She calls for your assistance! You: who 
never refuse to assist any, how remote soever, will cer- 
tainly hear her voice. Your answer to the Proposal you 
will if you think fit direct to M r Hoare who is worthy of 
every Confidence you can place in him. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Your anxiously devoted 

Will Blake 
Sth Molton Street 
April 7. 1804 

M r Hoare* s address is 
To Prince Hoare Esq re 
Buckingham Street 



Dear Sir, 

I have at length seen Mr. Hoare, after having re- 
peatedly called on him every day and not finding him. 
I now understand that he received your reply to P's pro- 
posal at Brighton, where he has a residence, from whence 
he sent it to London to Mr. Phillips; he has not seen P. 
since his return, and therefore cannot tell me how he 
understood your answer. Mr. H. appears to me to con- 
sider it as a rejection of the proposal altogether. I took 
the liberty to tell him that I could not consider it so, but 
that as I understood you, you had accepted the spirit of 
P's intention, which was to leave the whole conduct of the 
affair to you, and that you had accordingly nominated 
one of your friends and agreed to nominate others. But 
if P. meant that you should yourself take on you the 
drudgery of the ordinary business of a review, his proposal 
was by no means a generous one. Mr. H. has promised to 
see Mr. Phillips immediately, and to know what his in- 
tentions are; but he says perhaps Mr. P. may not yet have 
seen your letter to him, and that his multiplicity of busi- 
ness may very well account for the delay. I have seen our 
excellent Flaxman lately; he is well in health, but has had 
such a burn on his hand as you had once, which has 
hindered his working for a fortnight. It is now better; he 
desires to be most affectionately remembered to you; he 
began a letter to you a week ago; perhaps by this time 
you have received it; but he is also a laborious votary of 
endless work. Engraving is of so slow process, I must beg 
of you to give me the earliest possible notice of what en- 
graving is to be done for the Life ofRomney. Endless work 
is the true title of engraving, as I find by the things I have 
in hand day and night. We feel much easier to hear that 
you have parted with your horse. Hope soon to hear that 
you have a living one of brass, a Pegasus of Corinthian 


metal; and that Miss Poole is again in such health as 
when she first mounted me on my beloved Bruno. I for- 
got to mention that Mr. Hoare desires his most respectful 
compliments to you. Speaks of taking a ride across the 
country to Felpham, as he always keeps a horse at 
Brighton. My wife joins me in love to you. 

I remain, yours sincerely, 

William Blake 
27 April 1804 


Dear Sir, 

I thank you sincerely for Falconer, 1 an admirable poet, 
and the admirable prints to it by Fittler. Whether you 
intended it or not, they have given me some excellent 
hints in engraving; his manner of working is what I shall 
endeavour to adopt in many points. I have seen the elder 
Mr. Walker. He knew and admired without any preface 
my print of Romney, and when his daughter came in he 
gave the print into her hand without a word, and she 
immediately said, "Ah! Romney! younger than I knew 
him, but very like indeed" Mr. Walker showed me 
Romney' s first attempt at oil painting; it is a copy from 
a Dutch picture Dutch Boor Smoking; on the back is 
written, "This was the first attempt at oil painting by 
G. Romney." He shew'd me also the last performance 
of Romney. It is of Mr. Walker and family, 2 the 
draperies put in by somebody else. It is a very excellent 
picture, but unfinished. The figures as large as life, half 
length, Mr. W., three sons, and, I believe, two daughters, 

1 The Shipwreck, by William Falconer, 1804, with seven engravings by 
J. Fittler, A.R.A., after N. Pocock. Russell (Letters, 1906, p. 152) sees 
evidence of Fittler's influence in Blake's engraving of "The Shipwreck" in 
Hayley's Life of Romney (see p. 132). 

2 A large canvas, now in the National Portrait Gallery, of Walker seated 
at a table with his wife and daughter, his three sons standing behind them. 


with maps, instruments, &c. Mr. Walker also shew'd me 
a portrait of himself (W.), whole length, on a canvas 
about two feet by one and a half; it is the first portrait 
Romney ever painted. But above all, a picture of Lear 
and Cordelia, when he awakes and knows her, an in- 
comparable production, which Mr. W. bought for five 
shillings at a broker's shop; it is about five feet by four, 
and exquisite for expression; indeed, it is most pathetic; 
the heads of Lear and Cordelia can never be surpassed, 
and Kent and the other attendant are admirable; the 
picture is very highly finished. Other things I saw of 
Romney's first works: two copies, perhaps from Bor- 
gognone, of battles; and Mr. Walker promises to collect 
all he can of information for you. I much admired his 
mild and gentle benevolent manners; it seems as if all 
Romney's intimate friends were truly amiable and feeling 
like himself. 

I have also seen Alderman Boy del, 1 who has promised 
to get the number and prices of all Romney's prints as you 
desired. He has sent a Catalogue of all his Collection, 
and a Scheme of his Lottery; desires his compliments to 
you; says he laments your absence from London, as your 
advice would be acceptable at all times, but especially 
at the present. He is very thin and decay 'd, and but the 
shadow of what he was; so he is now a Shadow's Shadow; 
but how can we expect a very stout man at eighty-five, 
which age he tells me he has now reached? You would 
have been pleas'd to see his eyes light up at the mention 
of your name. 

Mr. Flaxman agrees with me that somewhat more than 
outline is necessary to the execution of Romney's designs, 
because his merit is eminent in the art of massing his lights 
and shades. I should propose to etch them in a rapid but 

1 John Boydell, engraver and printseller, for whose Graphic Illustration of 
the Works of Shakespeare Blake had engraved a plate after Opie, dated 1803, 
for Romeo and Juliet, Act IV, Scene V. 


firm manner, somewhat, perhaps, as I did the Head of 
Euler; 1 the price I receive for engraving Flaxman's out- 
lines of Homer is five guineas each. I send the Domeni- 
chino, which is very neatly done. His merits was but little 
in light and shade; outline was his element, and yet these 
outlines give but a faint idea of the finished prints from 
his works, several of the best of which I have. I send also 
the French monuments, and inclose with them a catalogue 
of Bell's Gallery, and another of the Exhibition, which I 
have not yet seen. I mentioned the pictures from Sterne 
to Mr. Walker; he says that there were several; one, a 
garden scene, with Uncle Toby and Obadiah planting in 
the garden; but that of Lefevre's Death he speaks of as 
incomparable, but cannot tell where it now is, as they 
were scattered abroad, being disposed of by means of a 
raffle. He supposes it is in Westmoreland; promises to 
make every inquiry about it. Accept, also, of my thanks 
for Cowper's third volume, which I got, as you directed, 
of Mr. Johnson. I have seen Mr. Rose; he looks, tho' not 
so well as I have seen him, yet tolerably, considering the 
terrible storm he has been thro'! He says that the last 
session was a severe labour; indeed it must be so to a man 
just out of so dreadful a fever. I also thank you for your 
very beautiful little poem on the King's recovery; it is 
one of the prettiest things I ever read, and I hope the king 
will live to fulfil the prophecy and die in peace; but at 
present, poor man, I understand he is poorly indeed, and 
times threaten worse than ever. I must now express my 
sorrow and my hopes for our good Miss Poole, and so take 
my leave for the present, with the joint love of my good 
woman, who is still stiff-knee 5 d but well in other respects. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Yours most sincerely, 

William Blake 
4th May 1804 

1 Frontispiece to Euler's Elements of Algebra, J. Johnson, London, 1797. 



Dear Sir, 

I thank you heartily for your kind offer of reading, &c. 
I have read the book thro" attentively and was much 
entertain' d and instructed, but have not yet come to the 
Life of Washington. I suppose an American would tell me 
that Washington did all that was done before he was born, 
as the French now adore Buonaparte and the English our 
poor George; so the Americans will consider Washington 
as their god. This is only Grecian, or rather Trojan, 
worship, and perhaps will be revised [?] in an age or two. 
In the meantime I have the happiness of seeing the Divine 
countenance in such men as Cowper and Milton more 
distinctly than in any prince or hero. Mr. Phillips has 
sent a small poem; he would not tell the author's name, 
but desired me to inclose it for you with Washington's 

Mr. Carr l called on me, and I, as you desired, gave 
him a history of the reviewing business as far as I am 
acquainted with it. He desires me to express to you that 
he would heartily devote himself to the business in all its 
laborious parts, if you would take on you the direction; 
and he thinks it might be done with very little trouble to 
you. He is now going to Russia; hopes that the negotia- 
tions for this business are not wholly at an end, but that 
on his return he may still perform his best, as your assist- 
ant in it. I have delivered the letter to Mr. Edwards, who 
will give it immediately to Lady Hamilton. Mr. Walker 
I have again seen; he promises to collect numerous par- 
ticulars concerning Romney and send them to you; won- 
ders he has not had a line from you; desires me to assure 

1 John (later Sir John) Carr (1772-1832), barrister of the Middle Temple 
and traveller, who published accounts of his tours in France, Holland, 
Ireland and Scotland. His journey in 1804 was described in A Northern 
Summer, or Travel round the Baltic, 1805 (see D. V. Erdman's "Blake's 'Nest 
of Villains' ", Keats-Shelley Journal, II, 1955, p. 61). 


you of his wish to give every information in his power. 
Says that I shall have Lear and Cordelia to copy if you 
desire it should be done; supposes that Romney was about 
eighteen when he painted it; it is therefore doubly inter- 
esting. Mr. Walker is truly an amiable man; spoke of 
Mr. Green I as the oldest friend of Romney, who knew 
most concerning him of any one; lamented the little 
difference that subsisted between you, speaking of you 
both with great affection. Mr. Flaxman has also promised 
to write all he knows or can collect concerning Romney, 
and send to you. Mr. Sanders has promised to write to 
Mr. J. Romney immediately, desiring him to give us 
liberty to copy any of his father's designs that Mr. Flax- 
man may select for that purpose; doubts not at all of 
Mr. Romney' s readiness to send any of the cartoons to 
London you desire; if this can be done it will be all that 
could be wished. I spoke to Mr. Flaxman about choosing 
out proper subjects for our purpose; he has promised to 
do so. I hope soon to send you Flaxman's advice upon 
this article. When I repeated to Mr. Phillips your inten- 
tion of taking the books you want from his shop, he made 
a reply to the following purpose: "I shall be very proud 
to have Mr. Hayley's name in my books, but please to 
express to him my hope that he will consider me as the 
sincere friend of Mr. Johnson, who is (I have every reason 
to say) both the most generous and honest man I ever 
knew, and with whose interest I should be so averse to 
interfere, that I should wish him to have the refusal first 
of anything before it should be offered to me, as I know 
the value of Mr. Hayley's connexion too well to interfere 
between my best friend and him/' This Phillips spoke 
with real affection, and I know you will love him for it, 
and will also respect Johnson the more for such testimony; 
but to balance all this I must, in duty to my friend 

1 Thomas Greene, of Slyne, Lancaster (1737-1810), solicitor, of whom 
Romney painted several portraits. 


Seagrave, 1 tell you that Mr. Rose repeated to me his great 
opinion of Mr. Johnson's integrity, while we were talking 
concerning Seagrave' s printing; it is but justice, therefore, 
to tell you that I perceive a determination in the London 
booksellers to injure Seagrave in your opinion, if possible. 
Johnson may be very honest and very generous, too, 
where his own interest is concerned; but I must say that 
he leaves no stone unturn'd to serve that interest, and 
often (I think) unfairly; he always has taken care, when 
I have seen him, to rail against Seagrave, and I perceive 
that he does the same by Mr. Rose. Mr. Phillips took 
care to repeat Johnson's railing to me, and to say that the 
country printers could not do anything of consequence. 
Luckily he found fault with the paper which Cowper's 
Life is printed on, not knowing that it was furnish' d by 
Johnson. I let him run on so far as to say that it was 
scandalous and unfit for such a work; here I cut him 
short by asking if he knew who furnish' d the paper. He 
answered: "I hope Mr. J. did not." I assured him that 
he did, and here he left off, desiring me to tell you that 
the Life of Washington was not put to press till the 3rd of 
this month (May), and on the I3th he had deliver'd a 
dozen copies at Stationer's Hall, and by the i6th five 
hundred were out. This is swift work if literally true, but 
I am not apt to believe literally what booksellers say; and 
on comparing Cowper with Washington, must assert that, 
except paper (which is Johnson's fault), Cowper is far the 
best, both as to type and printing. Pray look at Washing- 
ton as far as page 177, you will find that the type is smaller 
than from 1 77 to 308, the whole middle of the book being 
printed with a larger and better type than the two ex- 
tremities; also it is carefully hot-pressed. I say thus much, 
being urged thereto by Mr. Rose's observing some defects 
in Seagrave's -work, which I conceive were urged upon 
him by Johnson; and as to the time the booksellers would 

1 Henry Seagrave, printer, of Chichester (see p. 94). 

L.W.B. 1 129 

take to execute any work, I need only refer to the little 
job which Mr. Johnson was to get done for our friend 
Dally. 1 He promised it in a fortnight, and it is now three 
months and is not yet completed. I could not avoid say- 
ing thus much in justice to our good Seagrave, whose 
replies to Mr. Johnson's aggravating letters have been 
represented to Mr. Rose in an unfair light, as I have no 
doubt; because Mr. Johnson has, at times, written such 
letters to me as would have called for the sceptre of 
Agamemnon rather than the tongue of Ulysses, and I will 
venture to give it as my settled opinion that if you suffer 
yourself to be persuaded to print in London you will be 
cheated every way; but, however, as some little excuse, 
I must say that in London every calumny and falsehood 
utter' d against another of the same trade is thought fair 
play. Engravers, Painters, Statuaries, Printers, Poets, we 
are not in a field of battle, but in a City of Assassinations. 
This makes your lot truly enviable, and the country is not 
only more beautiful on account of its expanded meadows, 
but also on account of its benevolent minds. My wife 
joins with me in the hearty wish that you may long enjoy 
your beautiful retirement. 

I am, with best respects to Miss Poole, for whose health 
we constantly send wishes to our spiritual friends, 

Yours sincerely, 

William Blake 
28 May 1804 

PS. Mr. Walker says that Mr. Cumberland is right 
in his reckoning of Romney's age. Mr. W. says Romney 
was two years older than himself, consequently was born 


Mr. Flaxman told me that Mr. Romney was three years 
in Italy; that he returned twenty-eight years since. Mr. 
Humphry, 2 the Painter, was in Italy the same time with 

1 Not identified (see p. 121). 2 Ozias Humphry, miniaturist 


Mr. Romney. Mr. Romney lodged at Mr. Richter's, 
Great Newport Street, before he went; took the house in 
Cavendish Square immediately on his return; but as 
Flaxman has promised to put pen to paper, you may 
expect a full account of all he can collect. Mr. Sanders 
does not know the time when Mr. R. took or left Caven- 
dish Square house. 


Dear Sir, 

I have got the three Sublime Designs of Romney now 
in my Lodgings, & find them all too Grand as well as too 
undefined for meer outlines; & indeed it is not only my 
opinion but that of M r Flaxman & M r Parker, 1 both of 
whom I have consulted, that to give a true Idea of 
Romney's Genius, nothing less than some Finish'd En- 
gravings will do, as Outline intirely omits his chief 
beauties; but there are some which may be executed in 
a slighter manner than others, & M r Parker, whose 
Eminence as an Engraver makes his opinion deserve 
notice, has advised that 4 should be done in the highly 
finished manner, & 4 in a less Finish'd & on my desir- 
ing him to tell me for what he would undertake to En- 
grave One in Each manner, the size to be about 7 Inches 
by sJ, which is the size of a Quarto printed Page, he 
answer'd: "30 Guineas the finish' d, & half the sum for 
the less finished; but as you tell me that they will be 
wanted in November, I am of opinion that if Eight 
different Engravers are Employ 3 d, the Eight Plates will 
not be done by that time; as for myself" (Note Parker 
now speaks), "I have to-day turned away a Plate of 400 
Guineas because I am too foil of work to undertake it, & 

1 James Parker, apprenticed at the same time as Blake to Basire. He and 
Blake were in partnership as printsellers and engravers, from 1784 to 1787. 

I know that all the Good Engravers are so Engaged that 
they will be hardly prevail'd upon to undertake more 
than One of the Plates on so short a notice. 35 This is 
M r Parker's account of the matter, & perhaps may dis- 
courage you from the Pursuit of so Expensive an under- 
taking; it is certain that the Pictures deserve to be En- 
graved by the hands of Angels, & must not by any means 
be done in a careless or too hasty manner. The Price M r 
Parker has affix'd to each is Exactly what I myself had 
before concluded upon. Judging as he did that if the 
Fuseli Shakespeare is worth 25 Guineas, these will be at 
least worth 30, & that the inferior ones cannot be done 
at any rate under 15. 

Mr. Flaxman advises that the best Engravers should be 
engaged in the work, as its magnitude demands all the 
Talents that can be procured. 

Mr. Flaxman named the following Eight as proper 
subjects for Prints: 

1. The Vision of Atossa from Eschylus. 

2. Apparition of Darius. 

3. Black Ey'd Susan, a figure on the Sea shore em- 
bracing a Corse. 

4. The Shipwreck, with the Man on Horseback & c ., 
which I have. 1 

5. Hecate: a very fine thing indeed, which I have. 

6. Pliny: very fine, but very unfinished, which I have. 

7. Lear & Cordelia, belonging to M r Walker. 

8. One other which I omitted to write down & have 
forgot, but think that it was a Figure with Children, 
which he call'd a Charity. 

I write immediately on recieving the Above Informa- 
tion, because no time should be lost in this truly interest- 
ing business. 

1 Engraved by Blake for Hayley's Life ofRomney, 1809; Blake's drawing is 
reproduced here facing p. 134. 


Richardson is not yet Published. My Head of Romney 
is in very great forwardness. Parker commends it highly. 
Flaxman has not yet seen it, but shall soon, & then you 
shall have a Proof of it for your remarks also. I hope by 
this time Flaxman has written to you, & that you will 
soon recieve such documents as will enable you to decide 
on what is to be done in our desirable & arduous task 
of doing Justice to our admired Sublime Romney. I have 
not yet been able to meet M r Braithwaite at home, but 
intend very soon to call again, & (as you wish) to write 
all I can collect from him be so good as to give me your 
Earliest decision on what would be safe & not too ven- 
turesome in the number of projected Engravings, that I 
may put it into a train to be properly Executed. 

We both rejoice in the generous Paulina's return, with 
recover' d strength, to her delightful Villa; please to 
present our sincerest Affections to her. My Wife con- 
tinues to get better, & joins me in my warmest love & 
acknowledgments to you, as do my Brother & Sister. 
I am, dear Sir, Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
Sth Molton Street 

22 June 1804 


Speaks in high praise of Mrs. Klopstock's Letters, and 
says that Richardson has won his heart. The letter opens 
with allusions to professional and other matters. [Extract 
from sale catalogue.] 


It is certainly necessary that the best artists that can be 
engaged should be employed on the work of Romney's 


Life. . . , Money flies from me. Profit never ventures 
upon my Threshold, tho' every other man's doorstone is 
worn down into the very Earth by the footsteps of the 
fiends of commerce. [Extracts from sale catalogue.] 



Signed: W. & G. Blake 


Dear Sir, 

I hope you will Excuse my delay in sending the Books 
which I have had some time but kept them back till I 
could send a Proof of the Shipwreck which I hope will 
please. It yet wants all its last & finishing touches, but 
I hope you will be enabled by it to judge of the Pathos of 
the Picture. 

I send Washington's 2 d Vol: 5 Numbers of Fuseli's 
Shakespeare, & two Vols. with a Letter from M r Spils- 
bury, 1 with whom I accidentally met in the Strand: he 
says that he relinquished Painting as a Profession, for 
which I think he is to be applauded: but I concieve that 
he may be a much better Painter if he practises secretly 
& for amusement, than he could ever be if employed in 
the drudgery of fashionable daubing for a poor pittance 
of money in return for the sacrifice of Art & Genius: he 
says he never will leave to Practise the Art, because he 
loves it, & This Alone will pay its labour by Success, if 
not of money, yet of True Art, which is AIL 

I had the pleasure of a call from M rs Chetwynd & her 

1 Probably Jonathan Spilsbury (brother of John Spilsbury, the engraver), 
who exhibited portraits at the Royal Academy from 1776 to 1807. 



o a 

H D 

03 ^ 



> g 

Brother, a Giant in body, mild & polite in soul, as I have, 
in general, found great bodies to be; they were much 
pleased with Romney's Designs. M rs C. sent to me the 
two articles for you, & for the safety of which by the 
Coach I had some fears, till M r Meyer l obligingly 
undertook to convey them safe: he is now, I suppose, 
enjoying the delights of the Turret of Lovely Felpham; 
please to give my affectionate compliments to him. 

I cannot help suggesting an Idea which has struck me 
very forcibly, that the Tobit & Tobias 2 in your bed- 
chamber would make a very beautiful Engraving, done 
in the same manner as the Head of Cowper, 3 after Law- 
rence, The Heads to be finished, & the figures left exactly 
in imitation of the first strokes of the Painter. The Ex- 
pression of those truly Pathetic heads would thus be trans- 
mitted to the Public, a singular Monument of Romney's 
Genius in that Highest branch of Art. 

I must now tell my wants, & beg the favour of some 
more of the needful: the favor often Pounds more will 
carry me thro' this Plate & the Head of Romney, for 
which I am already paid. You shall soon see a Proof of 
Him in a very advanc'd state. I have not yet proved it, 
but shall soon, when I will send you one. I rejoice to 
hear from M r Meyer of Miss Poolers continued recovery. 
My wife desires with me her respects to you, & her, & to 
all whom we love, that is, to all Sussex, 
I remain. 

Your Sincere & Obliged Hble Servant, 

Will Blake 

Sth Molton St 
28 Sept r 1804 

1 William Meyer, son of the miniaturist, who was Romney's friend. 

2 According to Romney, by Humphry Ward and W. Roberts (voL II, 
p. 202), this picture was painted at Eartham, Hayley and his son serving 
as models. 

8 Engraved by Blake for Hayley's Life of Cowper, 1803. 



Dear Sir, 

I received your kind letter with the note to Mr. Payne, 
and have had the cash from him. I should have returned 
my thanks immediately on receipt of it, but hoped to be 
able to send, before now, proofs of the two plates, the 
Head of R[omney] and the Shipwreck, which you shall 
soon see in a much more perfect state. I write immediately 
because you wish I should do so, to satisfy you that I have 
received your kind favour. 

I take the extreme pleasure of expressing my joy at our 
good Lady of Lavant's x continued recovery: but with 
a mixture of sincere sorrow on account of the beloved 
Councillor. 2 /My wife returns her heartfelt thanks for 
your kind inquiry concerning her health. She is sur- 
prisingly recovered. Electricity is the wonderful cause; 
the swelling of her legs and knees is entirely reduced. 
She is very near as free from rheumatism as she was five 
years ago, and we have the greatest confidence in her 
perfect recovery./ 

The pleasure of seeing another poem from your hands 
has truly set me longing (my wife says I ought to 
have said us) with desire and curiosity; but, however, 
"Christmas is a-coming." 

Our good and kind friend Hawkins 3 is not yet in town 

1 Miss Harriet Poole. 2 Samuel Rose. 

3 John Hawkins (1758-1841), youngest son of Thomas Hawkins of Trewin 
and St. Erith, Cornwall, M.P. for Grampound and F.R.S. John Flaxman, 
in a letter written to William Hayley about 1784, wrote: "Mr. Hawkins, 
a Cornish gentleman, has shown his taste and liberality in ordering Blake 
to make several drawings for him; and is so convinced of his uncommon 
talents that he is now endeavouring to raise a subscription to send him to 
finish studies in Rome: if this can be at all, it will be determined on before 
the loth of May next, at which time Mr. Hawkins is going out of England. 
His generosity is such that he would bear the whole charge of Blake's travels; 
but he is only a younger brother, and can therefore, only bear a large 
proportion of the expense." Flaxman was at the same time reporting that 
Romney considered Blake's "historical drawings ranked with those of 


hope soon to have the pleasure of seeing him, with 
the courage of conscious industry, worthy of his former 
kindness to me. For now ! O Glory! and O Delight! I 
have entirely reduced that spectrous Fiend 1 to his station, 
whose annoyance has been the ruin of my labours for the 
last passed twenty years of my life. He is the enemy of 
conjugal love and is the Jupiter of the Greeks, an iron- 
hearted tyrant, the ruiner of ancient Greece. I speak with 
perfect confidence and certainty of the fact which has 
passed upon me. Nebuchadnezzar had seven times 
passed over him; I have had twenty; thank God I was not 
altogether a beast as he was; but I was a slave bound in 
a mill among beasts and devils; these beasts and these 
devils are now, together with myself, become children of 
light and liberty, and my feet and my wife's feet are free 
from fetters. O lovely Felpham, parent of Immortal 
Friendship, to thee I am eternally indebted for my three 
years' ipt from perturbation and the strength I now 
enjoy, f^fuddenly, on the day after visiting the Truch- 
sessian Gallery 2 of pictures, I was again enlightened with 
the light I enjoyed in my youth, and which has for exactly 
twenty years been closed from me as by a door and by 

Michael Angelo" (see Blake's Letters, ed. Russell, 1906, p. 52). The plan 
for Blake to travel to Rome was never realised. Hawkins, although only 
a younger brother, bought Bignor Park, in 1808, and became Sheriff of 

1 Blake uses the term "Spectre" in more than one sense, though in general 
it represents "the critical reason, antagonistic to vision, an exercise of the 
spirit of man in analysing, and so dissipating, experience, not in unifying 
or relating them into a spiritual harmony". In the present context the 
"rationlizing spectre" of industry has been subdued by Blake's accession of 
inspiration, so as to compel it to serve in spiritual works (see Sloss & Wallis, 
ii, 228-30). The rest of the letter develops this theme. 

2 The Truchsessian Gallery was a collection of pictures brought to Eng- 
land by Joseph, Count Truchsess, and exhibited in London in August 1803, 
with a view to selling the pictures to a company for the benefit of the public. 
Many great masters were supposed to be represented in the collection, but 
Lawrence, when he went to see them, thought very poorly of them (see 
The Farington Diary, II, 137). When the pictures were sold in 1806 in 676 
lots, they made very small sums. 


window-shutters^ Consequently I can, with confidence, 
promise you ocular demonstration of my altered state on 
the plates I am now engraving after Romney, whose 
spiritual aid has not a little conduced to my restoration 
to the light of Art. O the distress I have undergone, and 
my poor wife with me: incessantly labouring and inces- 
santly spoiling what I had done well. Every one of my 
friends was astonished at my faults, and could not assign 
a reason; they knew my industry and abstinence from 
every pleasure for the sake of study, and yet and yet 
and yet there wanted the proofs of industry in my works. 
I thank God with entire confidence that it shall be so no 
longer he is become my servant who domineered over 
me, he is even as a brother who was my enemy. fDear Sir, 
excuse my enthusiasm or rather madness, for I am really 
drunk with intellectual vision whenever I take a pencil 
or graver into my hand, even as I used to be in my 
youth, and as I have not been for twenty dark, but very 
profitable years. I thank God that I courageously pur- 
sued my course through darkness. In a short time I shall 
make my assertion good that I am become suddenly as 
I was at first, by producing the Head of Romney and the 
Shipwreck quite another thing from what you or I ever 
expected them to be. In short, I am now satisfied and 
proud of nra work, which I have not been for the above 
long period.^ 

If our excellent and manly friend Meyer is yet with 
you, please to make my wife's and my own most respect- 
ful and affectionate compliments to him, also to our kind 
friend at Lavant. 

I remain, with my wife's joint affection, 

Your sincere and obliged servant, 

Will Blake 
23 October 1804 



Proofs of my plates will wait on you in a few days. I 
have mentioned your proposals to our noble Flaxman, 
whose high & generous spirit relinquishes the whole to 
me but that he will overlook and advise. ... I have 
indeed fought thro' a Hell of terrors and horrors (which 
none could know but myself) in a divided existence; now 
no longer divided nor at war with myself, I shall travel 
on in the strength of the Lord God, as Poor Pilgrim says. 
[Extracts from sale catalogue. ,] 


Dear Sir, 

I send, with some confidence, proofs of my two plates, 
having had the assistance and approbation of our good 
friend Flaxman. He approves much (I cannot help tell- 
ing you so much) of the Shipwreck. Mrs. Flaxman also, 
who is a good connoisseur in engraving, has given her 
warm approbation, and to the plate of the Portrait, 
though not yet in so high finished a state. I am sure 
(mark my confidence), with Flaxman's advice, which he 
gives with all the warmth of friendship both to you and 
me, it must be soon a highly finished and properly 
finished print; but yet I must solicit for a supply of money, 
and hope you will be convinced that the labour I have 
used on the two plates has left me without any resource 
but that of applying to you. I am again in want of ten 
pounds; hope that the size and neatness of my plate of 
the Shipwreck will plead for me the excuse for troubling 
you before it can be properly called finished, though 
Flaxman has already pronounced it so. I beg your re- 
marks also on both my performances, as in their present 
state they will be capable of very much improvement 
from a few lucky or well advised touches. I cannot omit 


observing that the price Mr. Johnson gives for the plates 
of Fuseli's Shakespeare (the concluding numbers of which 
I now send) is twenty-five guineas each. On comparing 
them with mine of the Shipwreck, you will perceive that 
I have done my duty, and put forth my whole strength. 
Your beautiful and elegant daughter Venusea 1 grows in 
our estimation on a second and third perusal. I have not 
yet received the History of Chichester. I mention this not 
because I would hasten its arrival before it is convenient, 
but fancy it may have miscarried. ?My wife joins me in 
wishing you a merry Christmas. Remembering our happy 
Christmas at lovely Felpham, our spirits seem still to 
hover round our sweet cottage and round the beautiful 
Turret. I have said seem, but am persuaded that distance 
is nothing but a phantasy. We are often sitting by our 
cottage fire, and often we think we hear your voice calling 
at the gate. Surely these things are real and eternal in our 
eternal mind and can never pass awaylMy wife continues 
well, thanks to Mr. Birch's Electrical Magic, which she 
has discontinued these three months. 

I remain your sincere and obliged, 

William Blake 


Dear Sir, 

The Death of so Excellent a Man as my Generous 
Advocate 2 is a Public Loss, which those who knew him 
can best Estimate, & to those who have an affection for 
him like Yours, is a Loss that only can be repair 5 d in 
Eternity, where it will indeed with such abundant felicity, 
in the meeting Him a Glorified Saint who was a suffering 
Mortal, that our Sorrow is swallow' d up in Hope. Such 
Consolations are alone to be found in Religion, the Sun 

1 Venusia, a long poem by Hayley, published by Henry Seagrave, 
Chichester, 1804. 2 Samuel Rose. 


& the Moon of our Journey; & such sweet Verses as yours 
in your last beautiful Poem must now afford you their full 

XT arewell, Sweet Rose! thou hast got before me into the 
Celestial City. I also have but a few more Mountains to 
pass: for I hear the bells ring & the trumpets sound to 
welcome thy arrival among Cowper's Glorified Band of 
Spirits of Just Men made Perfect. ) 

Now, My Dear Sir, I will thank you for the transmission 
of ten Pounds to the Dreamer over his own Fortunes: 
for I certainly am that Dreamer; but tho 5 I dream over 
my own Fortunes, I ought not to Dream over those of 
other Men, & accordingly have given a look over my 
account Book, in which I have regularly written down 
Every Sum I have reciev'd from you; & tho 5 I never can 
balance the account of obligations with you, I ought to 
do my best at all times & in all circumstances. I find that 
you was right in supposing that I had been paid for all 
I have done; but when I wrote last requesting ten pounds, 
I thought it was Due on the Shipwreck (which it was), 
but I did not advert to the Twelve Guineas which you 
Lent Me when I made up 30 Pounds to pay our Worthy 
Seagrave in part of his Account. I am therefore that 12 
Guineas in your Debt: Which If I had considered, I 
should have used more consideration, & more ceremony 
also, in so serious an affair as the calling on you for more 
Money; but, however, your kind answer to my Request 
makes me Doubly Thank you. 

The two Cartoons * which I have of Hecate & Pliny 
are very unequal in point of finishing: the Pliny is a 
Sketch, tho 5 admirably contrived for an Effect equal to 
Rembrandt. But the Hecate is a finish 3 d Production, 
which will call for all the Engraver's nicest attention; 
indeed it is more finish 5 d than the Shipwreck; it is every 
body['s] favourite who have seen it, & they regularly 

1 By Romney. 


prefer it to the Shipwreck as a work of Genius. As to the 
[Plates del.] Price of the Plates, Flaxman declares to me 
that he will not pretend to set a price upon Engraving. 
I think it can only be done by Some Engraver. I con- 
sulted Mr Parker on the Subject before I decided on the 
Shipwreck, & it was his opinion, & he says it still is so, 
that a Print of that size cannot be done under 30 Guineas, 
if finish'd, &, if a Sketch, 15 Guineas; as, therefore, 
Hecate must be a Finish'd Plate, I consider 30 Guineas 
as its Price, & the Pliny 15 Guineas. 

Our Dear Friend Hawkins is out of Town, & will not 
return till April. I have sent to him, by a parcel from Col. 
Sibthorpe's, 1 your Desirable Poetical Present for M rs 
Hawkins. His address is this To John Hawkins, Esq r ., 
Dallington, near Northampton. M r Edwards is out of 
Town likewise. 

I am very far from shewing the Portrait of Romney as a 
finish'd Proof; be assured that with our Good Flaxman's 
good help, & with your remarks on it in addition, I hope 
to make it a Supernaculum. The Shipwreck, also, will be 
infinitely better the next proof. I feel very much gratified 
at your approval of my Queen Catherine: beg to observe 
that the Print of Romeo & the Apothecary 2 annex 5 d to 
your copy is a shamefully worn-out impression, but it was 
the only one I could get at Johnson's. I left a good im- 
pression of it when I left Felpham last in one of Heath's 
Shakespeare: you will see that it is not like the same Plate 
with the worn out Impression, My wife joins me in love 
& in rejoicing in Miss Poole's continued health. I am, 
dear Sir, 

Yours sincerely, 

Will Blake 
Sth Molton Street 

28 Dec r 1804 

1 Colonel Humphrey Waldo Sibthorp, father-in-law of John Hawkins. 

2 These two plates were engraved by Blake after Fuseli for The Plays of 
Shakespeare ed. Alexander Chalmers, 1805 (see p. 102). 


P.S. I made a very high finish'd Drawing of Romney 
as a Companion to my drawing of the head of Cowper 
(you remember), with which Flaxman is very much satis- 
fied, & says that when my Print is like that I need wish 
it no better, & I am determin'd to make it so at least. 



Dear Sir, 

I at length send the Books which I have in vain call'd 
for at the Publishers x 3 several times; but his removal 
from S* Pauls to a noble House in Bridge Street Black- 
friars perhaps hindered his sending & perhaps his wish 
that I might again call. I have however seen him this 
morning, & he has in the most open & explicit manner 
offer 5 d his service to you Expressing his desire that I will 
repeat to you his regret that your last beautiful Poem was 
not Publish 3 d in the Extensive way (I speak his own 
words) that a Poem of Confessedly the first Poet of Eng- 
land ought to be given to the Public (speaking so I must 
own he won my heart) . He said I knew that Dodsley was 
M r Hayley's Publisher, but hope that as M r D. is dead 
& if M r H. has no Engagement with any London Book- 
seller I may myself be appointed by him in so honourable 
a concern as the Publication of his Labours. He then 
Proceeded to find fault with the Printing of our friend 
the Chichester Printer. Here I considered it my duty to 
interfere. I expressed my own respect for our Good Sea- 
grave & said I knew your chief intentions in Employing 
him were I st to Encourage a Worthy Man & 2 d For 
the Honour of Chichester. M r P. immediately replied, 
If M r Hayley should think fit to employ me as his 

1 Richard Phillips, 

Publisher I should have no objection but a pleasure in em- 
ploying his Printer & have no doubt I could be of service 
to him in many ways, but I feel for the Honour of London 
Booksellers & consider them as losing a great deal of 
Honour in Losing the first Publication of any work of 
M r Hayley's & the Public likewise are deprived of the 
advantage of so extensive a diffusal as would be promoted 
by the methods which they use to Publish & disperse 
Copies into all parts to a very great amount. He then 
said: If M r Hayley is willing to dispose of this his New 
Poem I will Purchase it & at his own Price or any other 
of his Works For I do assure you I feel it a duty to my 
Profession that I should do my Endeavour to give M r 
Hayley's works the first rate Elegance in Printing & Paper 
as they hold the First in internal value. I then said, Is it 
agreeable to you that I repeat what you have said to me, 
To M r Hayley, or will you yourself, for I dare say he will 
be much pleas'd to hear from you, but said I, I will if you 
wish (as I shall write soon) give him (as near as I can 
remember) what you have said, & hope that he will see 
the matter in the light you do He desired I would, ex- 
pressing (for which I thank him) confidence in my dis- 
cretion Such was our conversation as near as I can 
recollect, I thought it best to keep silent as to anything 
like a hint of a proposal relating to Edw d i st or the 
Ballads having come from you; accordingly I did not say 
that I knew of any Poem, but left all to you intirely. I 
do think from the Liborality of this Enterprizing Man 
that all Parties, I mean our Friend Seagrave together 
with the Author & Publisher (& also the Public), may 
be mutually & extensively benefitted. His connexions 
are Universal; his present House is on the most noble scale 
& will be in some measure a Worthy Town Vehicle for 
your Beautiful Muse. But M r Phillips said, M r Hayley 
shall have whatever I publish sent to him if he pleases & 
he may return them when he has read them. Such is his 


determination to do every thing to engage himself to you 
if possible. He desired I would present you from him 
with the little volume of poems inclos'd; they are by a 
Lady of Fortune. I suppose he sends it as a specimen of 
Printing. P's chief objection to the manner in which the 
Triumphs of Music * are printed were the strong Metal 
Rules at the Ends of the Canto's, but he confess'd to me 
that the first Page of the Poem was beautifully executed 
& could not be better done. 

Pray might I not shew Phillips the four Numbers of 
Ballads? or will you write to him? or will you think it best 
to commission me to answer him? whatever you com- 
mand I will zealously perform, & depend upon it I will 
neither Do nor say but as you Direct. 

I feel extremely happy that you think My Prints will 
do me Credit & at the very idea of another journey to 
Sweet Felpham. O that I could but bring Felpham to 
me or go to her in this World as easy as I can in that 
of Affection & Remembrance. I feel it is necessary to be 
very circumspect how we advance with Romney; his best 
Works only ought to be engraved for your Work. 

Pray accept My & My Wife's sincerest affection & 
believe me to remain Yours sincerely 

Will Blake 
S th Molton Street 

19 Jan y 1805 


Dear Sir, 

I hope this letter will outstrip Mr. Phillips 5 , as I sit 
down to write immediately on returning from his house. 
He says he is agreeable to every proposal you have made, 
and will himself immediately reply to you. I should have 
supposed him mad if he had not: for such clear and 

1 The Triumphs of Music by William Hayley, Chichester, 1804. 

L.W.B. K 145 

generous proposals as yours to him he will not easily meet 
from anyone else. He will, of course, inform you what 
his sentiments are of the proposal concerning the three 
dramas. I found it unnecessary to mention anything relat- 
ing to the purposed application of the profits, as he, on 
reading your letter, expressed his wish that you should 
yourself set a price, and that he would, in his letter to you, 
explain his reasons for wishing it. The idea of publishing 
one volume a year he considers as impolitic, and that a 
handsome general edition of your works would be more 
productive. He likewise objects to any periodical mode 
of publishing any of your works, as he thinks it somewhat 
derogatory, as well as unprofitable. I must now express 
my thanks for your generous manner of proposing the 
Ballads to him on my account, and inform you of his 
advice concerning them; and he thinks that they should 
be published all together in a volume the size of the small 
edition of the Triumphs of Temper, with six or seven plates. 1 
That one thousand copies should be the first edition, and, 
if we choose, we might add to the number of plates in a 
second edition. And he will go equal shares with me in 
the expense and the profits, and that Seagrave is to be the 
printer. That we must consider all that has been printed 
as lost, and begin anew, unless we can apply some of the 
plates to the new edition. I consider myself as only put in 
trust with this work, and that the copyright is for ever 
yours. I therefore beg that you will not suffer it to be 
injured by my ignorance, or that it should in any way be 
separated from the grand bulk of your literary property. 
Truly proud I am to be in possession of this beautiful little 
estate; for that it will be highly productive I have no 
doubt, in the way now proposed; and I shall consider 
myself a robber to retain more than you at any time 

1 Ballads, by William Hayley, Esq., founded on Anecdotes relating to 
Animals, with [five] Prints designed and engraved by William Blake. 
Chichester: printed by J. Seagrave, for Richard Phillips, Bridge Street, 
Blackfriars, London, 1805, 8. 


please to grant. In short, I am tenant at will, and may 
write over my door, as the poor barber did. Money for 
live here. 

I entreat your immediate advice what I am to do, for 
I would not for the world injure this beautiful work, and 
cannot answer P.'s proposal till I have your directions 
and commands concerning it; for he wishes to set about 
it immediately, and has desired that I will give him my 
proposal concerning it in writing. 
I remain, dear Sir, 

Your obliged and affectionate 

Will Blake 
22 January 1805 


22: Janry 1805 

Received of M r * Butts twelve Pounds twelve Shillings on 
further account 

William Blake 



Dear Sir, 

This Morning I have been with M r Phillips & have 
entirely settled with him the plan of Engraving for the 
new Edition of the Ballads. The Prints 5 in Number I 
have Engaged to finish by 28 May: they are to be as 
highly finish' d as I can do them, the Size the same as the 
Serena plates, 1 the Price 20 Guineas Each, half to be paid 
by P. The Subjects I cannot do better than those already 

1 i.e. the six plates engraved by Blake for Hayley's Triumphs of Temper, 
twelfth edition, Chichester, 1803, from designs by Maria Flaxman. Serena 
was the heroine of Hayley's poem. 


chosen, as they are the most eminent among Animals Viz. 
The Lion, The Eagle, The Horse, The Dog. Of the Dog 
Species the Two Ballads are so preeminent & my Designs 
for them please me so well that I have chosen that design 
in our Last Number of the Dog & Crocodile, & that of 
the Dog defending his dead Master from the Vultures; 
of these five I am making little high finished Pictures the 
size the Engravings are to be, & am hard at it to accom- 
plish in time what I intend. M r P. says he will send 
M r Seagrave the Paper directly. 

The Journeyman Printers throughout London are at 
War with their Masters & are likely to get the better. 
Each Party meet to consult against the other; nothing 
can be greater than the Violence on both sides. Printing 
is suspended in London Except at private Presses. I hope 
this will become a source of Advantage to our Friend 

The Idea of Seeing an Engraving of Cowper by the 
hand of Caroline Watson x is, I assure you, a pleasing 
one to me; it will be highly gratifying to see another Copy 
by another hand & not only gratifying, but Improving, 
which is better. 

The Town is Mad. Young Roscius 2 like all Prodigies 
is the talk of Every Body. I have not seen him & perhaps 
never may. I have no curiosity to see him, as I well know 
what is within the compass of a boy of 14, & as to Real 
Acting it is Like Historical Painting, No Boy's Work. 

Fuseli is made Master of the Royal Academy. Banks 3 
the Sculptor is Gone to his Eternal Home. I have heard 
that Flaxman means to give a Lecture on Sculpture at 
the Royal Academy on the Occasion of Bank's Death; 

1 Caroline Watson (1761-1814) engraved for the octavo edition of Hay- 
ley's Life of Cowper the crayon portrait of the poet engraved by Blake for the 
quarto edition of 1803, vol. II. 

2 Master Betty, i.e. William Henry West Betty (1791-1874), actor from 
1803 to 1864. 

s Thomas Banks, R.A., had died on 2 February 1805. 


he died at the Age of 75 of a Paralytic Stroke. Now 
I concieve Flaxman stands without a competitor in 

I must not omit to tell you that on leaving M r Phillips 
I ask'd if he had any Message to give you as I meant to 
write immediately; he said Give my best Respects & tell 
M r Hayley that I wish very much to be at work for him. 
But perhaps I ought to tell you what he said to me pre- 
vious to this in the course of our Conversation; his words 
were, I feel, somewhat Embarras'd at the Idea of setting 
a value on any work of M r Hayley's & fear that he will 
wish me to do so. I asked him how a Value was set on 
any Literary work; he answer 5 d The Probable sale of the 
work would be the measure of Estimating the Profits & 
that would lead to a Valuation of the Copy right. This 
may be of no Consequence, but I could not omit telling 
it you. 

My Wife Continues in health & desires to join me in 
every Grateful Wish to you & to our Dear Respected 
Miss Poole. 

I remain 

- Yours with Sincerity 

William Blake 

P.S. Your Desire that I should write a little Advertise- 
ment 1 at the Beginning of the Ballads has set my Brain 
to work & at length produced the following. Simplicity, 
as you desired has been my first object. I send it for your 
Correction or Condemnation, begging you to supply its 
deficiency or to New Create it according to your wish. 

The Public ought to be informed that [The following 
del.] These Ballads were the Effusions of Friendship to 
Countenance what their Author is kindly pleased to call 
Talents for Designing and to relieve my more laborious 

1 This was not printed in the book, 


[employment del.] engagement of Engraving those Por- 
traits which accompany The Life of Cowper. Out of a 
number of Designs I have selected Five [and] hope that 
the Public will approve of my rather giving few highly 
labour' d Plates than a greater number & less finish'd. If 
I have succeeded in these more maybe added at Pleasure. 

Will Blake 


12 MAY 1805-3 MARCH l8o6 

M r Butts D r , 

May 12 1805 

Due on Account . . 0.4.0 
12 Drawings x Viz 
i Famine 2 War 3 Moses strik- 
ing the Rock 4 Ezekiel's Wheels 
5 Christ girding himself with 
strength 6 Four & twenty Elders 
7 Christ Baptizing 8 Samson 
breaking bonds 9 Samson sub- 
du'd 10 Noah & Rainbow u 
Wise & foolish Virgins 12 Hell 
beneath is moved for thee & c 
from Isaiah . . . 12.12.0 
5 July 

4 Prints 2 Viz 

i Good & Evil Angel 2 House of 
Death 3 God Judging Adam 
4 Lamech . . . . 4.4.0 
21 Aug st 

4 Ns of Hayley's 

Ballads . . . 
7 Sept r 

4 Prints 3 Viz 

By Cash 

12. 12. O 

5 July 
By d 


By d 


1 Of these water-colour drawings nos. i, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 1 1, were afterwards 
in the Graham Robertson collection. No. 6 is now in the Tate Gallery; the 
remainder have been dispersed. 

2 These four colour prints were afterwards in the collection of Graham 
Robertson, who gave them, with others, to the Tate Gallery in 1939. 

3 Of these four prints nos. 1-3 were acquired by Graham Robertson and 



i Nebuchadnezzar 2 Newton 
3 God Creating Adam 4 Christ 

appearing . . . . 4.4.0 
Dec r 12 

Touchs up Christ 

Baptizing i . i . o 

Should be 22.15 21.15.0 

D r M r Butts 

Bro* over 22.15.-- 

Drawings &c sent \ 

from Felpham j 4 4 
Urizen, 1 Heaveri 2 &c 
& Songs of Experience 
for balance -.10.6 

3 Hayley's Ballads per 

Brother 7 . 6 

3 Ditto M r Birch 7 . 6 

4 Ditto 10.- 

History of Mast r Malkin 3 10.6 
Dec r 25 1805 

On Account of teaching"] 
your Son at 25 Guineas I ~ 
per Annum to com-| * 5 ' 
mence on this Day J 



Should be 22 .3 21.3.0 


Bro* over 22.3.- 

Balance due from me 
previous to my going 
to Felpham 14.10.8 

By Coals to 5: Oct r \ 

1805 ; 12 * 19 - 

Balance paid 
to M r Blake 




Reciev'd of Mr Butts, March 3. 1806 the Sum of Sixteen 
Pounds Seven & Four pence Balance to this day as per 

Annexed Account 

William Blake 

J 7- 4 

given to the Tate Gallery in 1939. The print of no. 4 now in the Tate 
Gallery, "Christ appearing to the Apostles", was a different impression 
acquired later from another source and bequeathed by Graham Robertson 
to the Gallery. 

1 This copy of The First Book of Urizen has not been identified. 

2 The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, copy G in the Census, afterwards in the 
Crewe collection and now in America. 

8 A Father's Memoirs of his Child. By T. H. Malkin. London 1806. The 
frontispiece was engraved by Cromek after a design by Blake. 


"Reading in the Bible of the Eyes of the Almighty, I 
could not help putting up a petition for yours." Speaks 
of his rough sketch of an advertisement (the direction of 
which has been improved). ... "if any of my writings 
should hereafter appear before the Public, they will fall 
far short of this first specimen." [Extracts from sale 


Dear Sir, 

I have fortunately, I ought to say providentially, dis- 
covered that I have engraved one of the plates for that 
ballad of The Horse which is omitted in the new edition; 
time enough to save the extreme loss and disappointment 
which I should have suffered had the work been com- 
pleted without that ballad's insertion. 1 I write to entreat 
that you would contrive so as that my plate may come 
into the work, as its omission would be to me a loss that 
I could not now sustain, as it would cut off ten guineas 
from my next demand on Phillips, which sum I am in 
absolute want of; as well as that I should lose all the 
labour I have been at on that plate, which I consider as 
o^e of my best; I know it has cost me immense labour. 
The way in which I discovered this mistake is odd enough. 
Mr. Phillips objects altogether to the insertion of my 
Advertisement, calling it an appeal to charity, and says 
it will hurt the sale of the work, and he sent to me the last 
sheet by the penny (that is, the twopenny) post, desiring 
that I would forward it to Mr. Seagrave. But I have 

1 "The Horse" was included as the last ballad in the volume, together 
with the plate Blake had also made a tempera painting of the same subject 
now at Upholland College, Wigan. 


inclosed it to you, as you ought and must see it. I am no 
judge in these matters, and leave all to your decision, 1 as 
I know that you will do what is right on all hands. Pray 
accept my and my wife's sincerest love and gratitude. 

Will Blake 


July 5 1805 

Received of M r * Butts five Pounds seven Shillings on 
further account 

William Blake 

35 7 ?> ~~ 


7: Sept r - 1805 

Received of M r - Butts four Pounds four Shillings on 
further account 



Dear Sir, 

M r Cromek the Engraver came to me desiring to have 
some of my Designs; he nam'd his Price & wish'd me to 
Produce him Illustrations of The Grave, A Poem by 
Robert Blair; in consequence of this I produced about 
twenty Designs which pleas'd so well that he, with the 
same liborality with which he set me about the Drawings, 
has now set me to Engrave them. He means to Publish 
them by Subscription with the Poem as you will see in 

1 The Advertisement was not included. 


the Prospectus which he sends you in the same Pacquet 
with the Letter. You will, I know, feel as you always do 
on such occasions, not only warm wishes to promote the 
Spirited Exertions of my Friend Cromek. You will be 
pleased to see that the Royal Academy have Sanctioned 
the Style of work. I now have reason more than ever to 
lament your Distance from London, as that alone has 
prevented our Consulting you in our Progress, which is 
but of about two Months Date. I cannot give you any 
Account of our Ballads, for I have heard nothing of 
Phillips this Age. I hear them approved by the best, that 
is, the most serious people, & if any others are displeas'd 
it is also an argument of their being Successful as well as 
Right, of which I have no Doubt; for what is Good must 
Succeed first or last, but what is bad owes success to some- 
thing beside or without itself, if it has any. 

My Wife joins me in anxious wishes for your Health & 
Happiness, desiring to be particularly remember'd by 
You & our Good Lady Paulina over a dish of Coffee. I 
long to hear of your Good Health & that our dear friend 
of Lavant & of all our friends (to whom we are grate- 
ful & desire to be remembered) In Sussex. 

I am, Dear Sir, 

Yours ever Affectionately, 
Will. Blake 
27 Nov r . 





Dear Sir, 

I cannot omit to Return you my sincere & Grateful 
Acknowledgments for the kind Reception you have given 
my New Projected Work. It bids fair to set me above the 
difficulties I have hitherto encounter'd. But my Fate has 
been so uncommon that I expect Nothing, I was alive 


& in health & with the same Talents I now have all the 
time of Boydell's, Machlin's, Bowyer's, & other Great 
Works. I was known by them and was look'd upon by 
them as Incapable of Employment in those Works; it 
may turn out so again, notwithstanding appearances. I 
am prepared for it, but at the same time sincerely Grate- 
ful to Those whose Kindness^ & Good opinion has sup- 
ported me thro 5 all hitherto. (You, Dear Sir, are one who 
has my Particular Gratitude, naving conducted me thro 5 
Three that would have been the Darkest Years that ever 
Mortal Suffered, which were render 5 d thro 5 your means 
a Mild & Pleasant Slumber. I speak of Spiritual Things, 
Not of Natural; Of Things known only to Myself & to 
Spirits Good & Evil, 'but Not known to Men on Earth. 
It is the passage thro' these Three Years that has brought 
me into my Present State, & I know that if I had not been 
with You I must have Perish'd. Those Dangers are now 
Passed & I can see them beneath my feet. It will not be 
long before I shall be able to present the full history of 
my Spiritual Sufferings to the Dwellers upon Earth & of 
the Spiritual Victories obtain'd for me by my Friend^ 
Excuse this Effusion of the Spirit from One who cares 
little for this World, which passes away, whose Happi- 
ness is Secure in Jesus our Lord, & who looks for 
Suffering till the time of complete deliverance. In the 
mean While I am kept Happy, as I used to be, because 
I throw Myself & all that I have on our Saviour's Divine 
Providence. O What Wonders are the Children of Men! 
Would to God that they would consider it, That they 
would consider their Spiritual Life, Regardless of that 
faint Shadow call'd Natural Life, & that they would 
Promote Each other's Spiritual Labours, Each according 
to its Rank, & that they would know that Recieving a 
Prophet As a Prophet is a Duty which If omitted is more 
Severely Avenged than Every Sin & Wickedness beside. 
It is the Greatest of Crimes to Depress True Art & 


Science. I know that those who are dead from the Earth, 
& who mock'd and Despised the Meekness of True Art 
(and such, I find, have been the situations of our Beauti- 
ful, Affectionate Ballads), 1 I know that such Mockers are 
Most Severely Punish 3 d in Eternity. I know it, for I see 
it & dare not help. The Mocker of Art is the Mocker of 
Jesus. Let us go on, Dear Sir, following his Gross: let us 
take it up daily. Persisting in Spiritual Labours & the 
Use of that Talent which it is Death to Bury, & of that 
Spirit to which we are called. 

Pray Present My Sincerest Thanks to our Good 
Paulina, whose kindness to Me shall recieve recompense 
in the Presence of Jesus. Present also my Thanks to the 
Generous Seagrave, In whose debt I have been too long, 
but percieve that I shall be able to settle with him soon 
what is between us. I have deliver' d to M r Sanders the 
3 Works of Romney, as M rs Lambert told me you wished 
to have them: a very few touches will finish the Ship- 
wreck; those few I have added upon a Proof before I 
parted with the Picture. It is a Print that I feel proud of, 
on a New inspection. Wishing you & All Friends in 
Sussex a Merry & a Happy Christmas, 
I remain, Ever Your Affectionate, 

Will Blake & his Wife Catherine Blake 
S th Molton Street 

Decemb r - n. 1805 

75. TO RICHARD PHILLIPS 2 * ^ } JUNE 1806 


My indignation was exceedingly moved at reading a 
criticism in Bell's Weekly Messenger (z$th May) on the 

1 The volume of Ballads had been ridiculed by some of the reviewers, 
including Robert Southey in The Annual Register. 

2 Sir Richard Phillips, publisher, and proprietor of The Monthly Magazine, 
Blake's letter appeared in the number for i July 1806, 


picture of Count Ugolino, by Mr. Fuseli, in the Royal 
Academy Exhibition; and your Magazine being as ex- 
tensive in its circulation as that Paper, and as it also must 
from its nature be more permanent, I take the advan- 
tageous opportunity to counteract the widely diffused 
malice which has for many years, under the pretence of 
admiration of the arts, been assiduously sown and planted 
among the English public against true art, such as it 
existed in the days of Michael Angelo and Raphael. 
Under pretence of fair criticism and candour, the most 
wretched taste ever produced has been upheld for many, 
very many years; but now, I say, now its end is come. 
Such an artist as Fuseli is invulnerable, he needs not my 
defence; but I should be ashamed not to set my hand 
and shoulder, and whole strength, against those wretches 
who, under pretence of criticism, use the dagger and the 

My criticism on this picture is as follows: Mr. Fuseli 5 s 
Count Ugolino is the father of sons of feeling and dignity, 
who would not sit looking in their parent's face in the 
moment of his agony, but would rather retire and die in 
secret, while they suffer him to indulge his passionate 
and innocent grief, his innocent and venerable madness 
and insanity and fury, and whatever paltry, cold-hearted 
critics cannot, because they dare not, look upon. Fuseli's 
Count Ugolino is a man of wonder and admiration, of 
resentment against man and devil, and of humiliation 
before God; prayer and parental affection fill the figure 
from head to foot. The child in his arms, whether boy 
or girl signifies not (but the critic must be a fool who 
has not read Dante, and who does not know a boy from 
a girl), I say, the child is as beautifully drawn as it is 
coloured in both, inimitable! and the effect of the whole 
is truly sublime, on account of that very colouring which 
our critic calls black and heavy. The German flute 
colour, which was used by the Flemings (they call it 


burnt bone), has possessed the eye of certain connois- 
seurs, that they cannot see appropriate colouring, and 
are blind to the gloom of a real terror. 

The taste of English amateurs has been too much 
formed upon pictures imported from Flanders and 
Holland; consequently our countrymen are easily brow- 
beat on the subject of painting; and hence it is so common 
to hear a man say: C I am no judge of pictures. 5 But O 
Englishmen! know that every man ought to be a judge 
of pictures, and every man is so who has not been con- 
noisseured 1 out of his senses. 

A gentleman who visited me the other day, said, "I 
am very much surprised at the dislike that some con- 
noisseurs shew on viewing the pictures of Mr. Fuseli; but 
the truth is, he is a hundred years beyond the present 
generation." Though I am startled at such an assertion, 
I hope the contemporary taste will shorten the hundred 
years into as many hours; for I am sure that any person 
consulting his own eyes must prefer what is so superemin- 
ent; and I am as sure that any person consulting his own 
reputation, or the reputation of his country, will refrain 
from disgracing either by such ill-judged criticisms in 


Wm. Blake 


30: June 1806 

Received of M r - Butts twenty one pounds ten Shillings 
on account for sundry Drawings 

Will* Blake 

10 ,,o 

1 cp. Blake's punning fragment in the MS Note Book: "The cunning-sures 
& the aim-at-yours ..." 



9 Sept r - 1806 

Receiv'd of M r - Butts six Pounds six Shillings for 
Drawings Songs of Innocence &c 

William Blake 


15: Oct r - 1806 

Received of M r Butts five Pounds 5/- on further 

Will m Blake 



29: Janry 1807 

Received of M r Butts Twenty one Pounds on further 

William Blake 


Recievd March 3. 1807 of M r - Butts the Sum of Twenty 
Eight Pounds Six Shillings on Account 

Will m Blake 
[Added in pencil] 

Tom 1 26. 5<| 28 6 
Drawings in I 8 _g 25 ^ 6 
full to this 2. I. f 

day- J 3- I- 6. 

1 Blake was teaching Thomas Butts jr. to engrave. 


81. R. H. CROMEK TO BLAKE* MAY 1807 


I received, not without great surprise, your letter de- 
manding four guineas for the sketched vignette dedicated 
to the Queen. 1 I have returned the drawing with this 
note, and I will briefly state my reasons for so doing. In 
the first place I do not think it merits the price you affix 
to it, under any circumstances. In the next place, I never 
had the remotest suspicions that you would for a moment 
entertain the idea of writing me to supply money to create 
an honour in which I cannot possibly participate. The 
Queen allowed jow, not me, to dedicate the work to her I 
The honour would have been yours exclusively; but that 
you might not be deprived of any advantage likely to 
contribute to your reputation, I was willing to pay Mr. 
Schiavonetti ten guineas for etching a plate from the 
drawing in question. 

Another reason for returning the sketch is, that I can 
do without it, having already engaged to give a greater 
number of etchings than the price of the book will 
warrant; and I neither have, nor ever had, any encour- 
agement from you to place you before the public in a 
more favourable point of view than that which I have 
already chosen. You charge me with imposing upon you. 
Upon my honour I have no recollection of anything of 
the kind. If the world and I were to settle accounts 
tomorrow, I do assure you the balance would be con- 
siderably in my favour. In this respect I am more sinned 
against than sinning; but if I cannot recollect any in- 
stances wherein I have imposed uponjwz/, several present 
themselves in which I have imposed upon myself. Take 
two or three that press upon me. 

When I first called on you, I found you without 

1 This water-colour drawing is now in the Print Room at the British 
Museum. It was not used in Cromek's edition of Blake's Grave. 

1 60 


drawing for Blake's Dedication, 1807, 
of the illustrations to Blair's Grave 1808 

reputation; I imposed on myself the labour, and a herculean 
one it has been, to create and establish a reputation for 
you. I say the labour was herculean, because I had not 
only to contend with, but I had to battle with a man 
who had pre-determined not to be served. What public 
reputation you have, the reputation of eccentricity ex- 
cepted, I have acquired for you; and I can honestly and 
conscientiously assert, that if you had laboured through 
life for yourself as zealously and as earnestly as I have 
done for you, your reputation as an artist would not only 
have been enviable, but it would have put it out of the 
power of an individual as obscure as myself either to add 
to or take from it. I also imposed on myself, when I believed 
what you so often have told me, that your works were 
equal, nay superior, to a Raphael or to a Michael 
Angelo! Unfortunately for me as a publisher, the public 
awoke me from this state of stupor, this mental delusion. 
That public is willing to give you credit for what real 
talent is to be found in your productions, and for no more. 
I have imposed on myself yet more grossly in believing 
you to be one altogether abstracted from this world, 
holding converse with the world of spirits! simple, un- 
offending, a combination of the serpent and the dove. I 
really blush when I reflect how I have been cheated in 
this respect. The most effectual way of benefiting a 
designer whose aim is general patronage, is to bring his 
designs before the public, through the medium of en- 
graving. Your drawings have had the good fortune to be 
engraved by one of the first artists in Europe \ and the 
specimens already shown have already produced you 
orders that I verily believe you otherwise would not have 
received. Herein I have been gratified; for I was deter- 
mined to bring you food as well as reputation, though, 
from your late conduct, I have some reason to embrace 
your wild opinion, that to manage genius, and to cause 

1 Schiavonetti, engraver of Blake's designs for Blair's Grave. 

L.W.B. L 1 6 1 

it to produce good things, it is absolutely necessary to 
starve it; indeed, this opinion is considerably heightened 
by the recollection that your best work, the illustrations 
of The Grave, was produced when you and Mrs. Blake 
were reduced so low as to be obliged to live on half a 
guinea a week! 

Before I conclude this letter, it will be necessary to 
remark, when I gave you the order for the drawings from 
the poem of The Grave, I paid you for them more than I 
could afford; more in proportion than you were in the 
habit of receiving, and what you were perfectly satisfied 
with; though, I must do you the justice to confess, much 
less than I think is their real value. Perhaps you have 
friends and admirers who can appreciate their merit and 
worth as much as I do. I am decidedly of opinion that 
the twelve for The Grave should sell at least for sixty 
guineas. If you can meet with any gentleman who will 
give you this sum for them, I will deliver them into his 
hands on the publication of the poem. I will deduct the 
twenty guineas I have paid you from that sum, and the 
remainder forty ditto shall be at your disposal. 

I will not detain you more than one minute. Why did 
you so furiously rage at the success of the little picture of 
"The Pilgrimage"? * Three thousand people have now 
seen it and have approved of it. Believe me, yours is "the 
voice of one crying in the wilderness!" 

You say the subject is low and contemptibly treated. For 
his excellent mode of treating the subject, the poet has 
been admired for the last 400 years; the poor painter has 
not yet the advantage of antiquity on his side, therefore, 
with some people, an apology may be necessary for him. 
The conclusion of one of Squire Simkin's letters to his 
mother in the Bath Guide will afford one. He speaks 
greatly to the purpose: 

1 This refers to Stothard's painting of "The Canterbury Pilgrims", which 
had been exhibited with great success to the public. 

"Very well know, 

Both my subject and verse is exceedingly low; 
But if any great critic finds fault with my letter, 
He has nothing to do but to send you a better" 

With much respect for your talents, I remain, Sir, your 
real friend and well-wisher, 

R. H. Cromek 
64 Newman Street 

May, 1807 


2: June 1807 

Received of M r * Butts twelve Pounds 1/6 on further 

William Blake 
12,, i ,,6 


13: July 1807 

Received of M r * Butts fifteen Pounds I5/- on further 

William Blake 


6: Oct r - 1807 
Received of M r - Butts Ten Guineas on further account 

William Blake 
10 10 - 



Oct 14 
Sir, *,"'' ; 

A circumstance has occurred which has again raised 
my Indignation. 

I read in the Oracle & True Briton of Oct r 13, 1807, 
that a M r - Blair, a Surgeon, has, with the Cold fury of 
Robespierre, caused the Police to sieze upon the Person & 
Goods or Property of an Astrologer & to commit him to 
Prison. The Man who can Read the Stars often is opressed 
by their Influence, no less than the Newtonian who reads 
Not & cannot Read is opressed by his own Reasonings & 
Experiments. We are all subject to Error: Who shall 
say, except the National Religionists, that we are not all 
subject to Grime? 

My desire is that you would Enquire into this Affair & 
that you would publish this in your Monthly Magazine. 
I do not pay the postage of this Letter, because you, as 
Sheriff, are bound to attend to it. 1 

William Blake 
17 S* h Molton S* 


14: Janry 1808 

Received of M r - Butts twenty six pounds 5/~ on further 

for W m - Blake 
26 5 

1 Theletterismarked: W.B.Rec d < Oct r * 27^ 1807. WithMrP.'sComps. 
It was not published in The Monthly Magazine. 


drawing by Schiavonetti after Phillips 1807 

87,88. TO OZIAS HUMPHRY [first draft and duplicate] 

l8 JANUARY 1808 

To Ozias Humphry Esq re - 

The Design of The Last Judgment, which I have 
completed by your recommendation [under a fortunate 
star] for the Countess [(del.) Earl (in another hand)] of 
Egremont, 1 it is necessary to give some account of: & 
its various parts ought to be described, for the accomoda- 
tion of those who give it the honor of attention. 

Christ seated on the Throne of Judgment: The 
Heavens in Clouds rolling before him & around him, 
like a scroll ready to be consumed in the fires of the 
Angels; who descend before his feet with their four 
trumpets sounding to the four Winds. 

Beneath; the Earth is convuls'd with the labours of 
the Resurrection. In the caverns of the Earth is the 
Dragon with seven heads & ten horns, Chained by two 
Angels & above his Cavern^] on the Earth's surface, is 
the Harlot also siezed & bound [chain* d] by two Angels 
with Chains while her Palaces are falling into [in] ruins 
& her Councellors & Warriors are descending into the 
Abyss in wailing & despair. 

Hell opens beneath the Harlot's seat on the left hand 
into which the Wicked are descending [while others rise 
from their Graves on the brink of the Pit]. 

The right hand of the Design is appropriated to the 
Resurrection of The Just; the left hand of the Design is 
appropriated to the Resurrection & Fall of the Wicked. 

Immediately before the Throne of Christ is Adam & 
Eve, kneeling in humiliation, as representatives of the 
whole Human Race; Abraham & Moses kneel on each 
side beneath them; from the Cloud on which Eve kneels 

1 This water-colour painting is still at Petworth House, Sussex, with one 
draft of the manifesto. The chief variations in the Petworth draft are printed 
here in italic within square brackets. 


& beneath Moses & from the Tables of Stone which 
utter lightnings, is seen Satan wound round by the 
Serpent & falling headlong; the Pharisees appear on the 
left hand pleading their own righteousness before the 
Throne of Christ: The Book of Death is open'd on Clouds 
by two Angels; many groupes of Figures are falling from 
before the Throne & from the Sea of Fire which flows 
before the steps of the Throne, on which are seen the 
Seven Lamps of the Almighty burning before the 
Throne: many Figures Chain'd & bound together fall 
thro' the air, & some are scourged by Spirits with flames 
of fire into the Abyss of Hell which opens to recieve them 
beneath, on the left hand of the Harlot's seat, where 
others are howling & descending into the flames & in the 
act of dragging each other into Hell & of contending in 
fighting with each other on the [very] brink of Perdition. 

Before the Throne of Christ on the right hand the Just 
in humiliation & in exultation, rise thro' the air, with 
their Children & Families: some of whom are bowing 
before the Book of Life which is open'd by two Angels 
on Clouds: many Groupes arise with Exultation [in joy]: 
among them is a Figure crowned with Stars & the moon 
beneath her feet with six infants around her She represents 
the Christian Church: The Green Hills appear beneath: 
with the Graves of the Blessed, which are seen bursting 
with their births of immortality; Parents & Children em- 
brace & arise together & in exulting attitudes tell each 
other, that The New Jerusalem is ready to descend upon 
Earth; they arise upon the air rejoicing: others newly 
awaken'd from the Grave stand upon the Earth embrac- 
ing & shouting to the Lamb who cometh in the Clouds 
with Power & great Glory. 

The whole upper part of the Design is a view of Heaven 
opened: around the Throne of Christ, Four Living 
Creatures filled with Eyes, attended by Seven Angels 
with the Seven Vials of the Wrath of God, & above these 


water colour drawing 1808 

[there are] Seven Angels with the Seven Trumpets com- 
pose [composing] the Cloud, which by its rolling away 
displays the opening Seats of the Blessed, on the right & 
the left of which are seen the Four & Twenty Elders 
seated on Thrones to Judge the Dead. 

Behind the Seat & Throne of Christ appears [appear] 
the Tabernacle with its Veil opened: [&] the Candlestick 
on the right: the Table with Shew Bread, on the left: & 
in the midst, the Cross in place of the Ark, with the two 
Cherubim bowing over it. 

On the right hand of the Throne of Christ is Baptism. 
On his left is the Lord's Supper: the two introducers 
into Eternal Life. Women with Infants approach the 
Figure of an aged Apostle which represents Baptism; & 
on the left hand the Lord's Supper is administer'd by 
Angels, from the hands of another aged Apostle; these 
Kneel on each side of the Throne which is surrounded 
by a glory, in the glory many Infants appear, representing 
Eternal Creation flowing from The Divine Humanity 
in Jesus: who opens the Scroll of Judgment upon his 
knees before the Living & the Dead. 

Such is the Design which you, my Dear Sir, have been 
the cause of my producing & which: but for you might 
have slept till the Last Judgment. 

William Blake 
1 8 January 1808 

89. TO OZIAS HUMPHRY [second draft] 


To Ozias Humphry Esq re 

The Design of The Last Judgment, which I have com- 
pleted by your recommendation for The Countess of 
Egremont, it is necessary to give some account of: & its 
various parts ought to be described for the accomodation 
of those who give it the honor of attention. 

Christ, seated on the Throne of Judgment; before his 
feet & around him, the heavens in clouds are rolling like 
a scroll ready to be consumed in the fires of the Angels 
who descend with the Four Trumpets sounding to the 
Four Winds. 

Beneath: Earth is convulsed with the labours of the 
Resurrection in the Caverns of the Earth is the Dragon 
with Seven heads & ten Horns chained by two Angels, & 
above his Cavern on the Earth's Surface is the Harlot, 
siezed & bound by two Angels with chains, while her 
Palaces are falling into ruins & her councellors & 
warriors are descending into the Abyss in wailing & 
despair. Hell opens beneath the Harlot's seat on the left 
hand; into which the Wicked are descending. 

The right hand of the Design, is appropriated to the 
Resurrection of the Just: the left hand of the Design, is 
appropriated to the Resurrection & Fall of the Wicked. 

Immediately before the Throne of Christ, is Adam & 
Eve, kneeling in humiliation as representitives of the 
whole Human Race, Abraham & Moses kneel on each 
side beneath them: from the cloud on which Eve kneels, 
is seen Satan, wound round by the Serpent & falling 
headlong: the Pharisees appear on the left hand pleading 
their own righteousness before the Throne of Christ & 
before the Book of Death which is open'd on clouds by 
two Angels, & many groupes of Figures are falling from 
before the Throne, & from before the Sea of Fire which 
flows before the steps of the Throne; on which is seen the 
seven Lamps of the Almighty burning before the Throne: 
many Figures chained & bound together & in various 
attitudes of Despair & Horror: fall thro' the air: & some 
are scourged by Spirits with flames of fire into the Abyss 
of Hell, which opens beneath, on the left hand of the 
Harlot's Seat: where others are howling & dragging each 
other into Hell & in contending in fighting with each 
other on the brink of Perdition. 


Before the Throne of Christ on the Right hand the 
Just in humiliation & in exultation rise thro 5 the Air with 
their Children & Families: some of whom are bowing 
before the Book of Life which is open'd on clouds by two 
Angels: many groupes arise in exultation, among them is 
a Figure crown'd with Stars & the Moon beneath her 
feet with six infants around her. She represents the 
Christian Church; Green hills appear beneath with the 
Graves of the Blessed, which are seen bursting with their 
births of immortality: Parents & Children, Wives & 
Husbands embrace & arise together & in exulting atti- 
tudes of great joy tell each other that the New Jerusalem 
is ready to descend upon Earth: they arise upon the Air 
rejoicing: others newly awaken' d from the Grave, stand 
upon the Earth embracing & shouting to the Lamb who 
cometh in the Clouds in Power & great Glory. 

The Whole upper part of the Design is a View of 
Heaven opened around the Throne of Christ: in the Cloud 
which rolls away, are the Four Living Creatures filled 
with Eyes, attended by Seven Angels with the Seven 
Vials of the Wrath of God; & above these Seven Angels 
with the Seven Trumpets, these compose the Cloud 
which by its rolling away displays the opening seats of 
the Blessed, on the right & left of which are seen the 
Four & twenty Elders, seated on Thrones to Judge the 

Behind the Seat & Throne of Christ appears the Taber- 
nacle with its Veil opened, the Candlestick on the right: 
the Table with the Shew bread on the left: in midst is 
the Cross in place of the Ark, the Cherubim bowing 
over it. 

On the Right hand of the Throne of Christ is Baptism, 
on the left is the Lord's Supper, the two introducers into 
Eternal Life: Women with Infants approach the Figure of 
an Aged Apostle which represents Baptism, & on the 
left hand the Lord's Supper is administer'd by Angels 


from the hands of another Apostle: these kneel on each 
side of the Throne which is surrounded by a Glory: many 
Infants appear in the Glory, representing the Eternal 
Creation flowing from the Divine Humanity in Jesus, 
who opens the Scroll of Judgment upon his knees before 
the Living & the Dead. 

Such is the design which you, my dear Sir, have been 
the cause of my producing & which but for you might 
have slept till the Last Judgment 

William Blake 

Feby 1808 


29: Febry 1808 

Received of M r Butts Ten Pounds on further account 

William Blake 


29: July 1808 
Received of M r - Butts Ten Pounds on further account 

William Blake 


3: Novem r 1808 

Received of M r - Butts five Guineas on further account 

Will m Blake 

5 >5 """ 



7: Dec r - 1808 

Received of M r - Butts five Guineas on further account 

William Blake 

5 99 5 99 ~" 


l8 DECEMBER l8o8 

Dear Blake, 

A gentleman of my acquaintance, to whom I was 
shewing your incomparable etchings last night, was so 
charmed with them, that he requested me to get him a 
compleat set of all you have published in the way of 
Books coloured as mine are; 1 and at the same time he 
wishes to know what will be the price of as many as you 
can spare him, if all are not to be had, being willing to 
wait your own time in order to have them as those of 
mine are. 

With respect to the Money, I will take care that it 
shall be reced and sent to you through my Son as fast 
as they are procured. 

I find by a Letter from my son that the picture you 
sent, he asked you for, which is what I do not approve, as 
I certainly had no such thing in contemplation when I 
sent you those very slight sketches from Raffael I am 
glad, however, that you found them acceptable, and 
shall certainly send you a few more as soon as I can light 
on them among my papers. The Holy family 2 is, like 
all your designs, full of Genius and originality. I shall 

1 Cumberland is known to have possessed at least five of the Illuminated 
Books; see the Census, New York, 1953. 

2 Perhaps a water-colour drawing of "The Holy Family with John the 
Baptist and a lamb", which was afterwards in the possession of Alexander 
A. Weston. Its present whereabouts are not known. 


give it a handsome frame and shew it to all who come 
to my house. 

When you answer this, pray tell me if you have been 
able to do anything with the Bookseller something of 
that kind would be no bad thing, and might turn out a 
great one if a competition could be raised by that means 
among the genuine qymeliars x of talents of every sort. 
You talked also of publishing your new method of en- 
graving send it to me and I will do my best to prepare 
it for the Press perhaps when done you might, with a 
few specimens of Plates, make a little work for sub- 
scribers for it as Du-Crow did of his Aqua-tinta selling 
about 6 Pages for [half del.] a guinea to non subscribers 
but if you do not chuse that method, we might insert it 
in Nicholson's Journal or the Monthly Magazine, with 
reference to you for explanations 

with best regards to you & yours, I am always, 
your sincere friend, 

G. Cumberland 
Culworth 1 8 Dec. 1808 



V s \ 

Dear Cumberland, 

I am very much obliged by your kind ardour in my 
cause, & should immediately Engage in reviewing my 
former pursuits of painting if I had not now so long been 
turned out of the old channel into a new one, that it is 
impossible for me to return to it without destroying my 
present course. New Vanities, or rather new pleasures, 
occupy my thoughts. New profits seem to arise before 
me so tempting that I have already involved myself in 

1 A doubtful word, perhaps intended for "cymeliarchs* ' 
a treasurer, or storekeeper, as suggested by the late W. E. Moss. 


engagements that preclude all possibility of promising 
any thing. I have, however, the satisfaction to inform you 
that I have Myself begun to print an account of my 
various Inventions in Art, for which I have procured a 
Publisher, 1 & am determined to pursue the plan of pub- 
lishing what I may get printed without disarranging my 
time, which in future must alone be devoted to Designing 
& Painting; when I have got my Work printed I will 
send it you first of any body; in the mean time, believe 
me to be 

Your Sincere friend, 

Will Blake 
19 Dec r 1808 

96. TO OZIAS HUMPHRY c. 1809 

-' $ ' 

Dear Sir, ^ y * 

You will see in this little work 2 the cause of difference 
between you & me; you demand of me to Mix two things 
that Reynolds has confessed cannot be mixed. You will 
percieve that I not only detest False Art, but have the 
Courage to say so Publickly & to dare all the Power on 
Earth to oppose Florentine & Venetian Art cannot 
exist together. Till the Venetian & Flemish are de- 
stroy'd, the Florentine & Roman cannot Exist; this will 
be shortly accomplished; till then I remain Your Grate- 
ful, altho' seemingly otherwise, I say Your Grateful & 

William Blake 

I inclose a ticket of admission if you should honour 
my Exhibition with a Visit. 

1 Nothing further is known of this projected work, unless perhaps the 
reference is to A Descriptive Catalogue, printed in 1809. 

2 A Descriptive Catalogue, 1809. 



7: April 1809 
Received of M r - Butts Twenty one Pounds on further 


William Blake 


10: July 1809 
Received of M r - Butts ten Guineas on further account 

William Blake 
10,, 10,,- 


10: August 1809 
Received of M r - Butts ten Guineas on further account 

Will m Blake 
10 io,,- 


4: Octo r - 1809 

Received of M r - Butts ten Guineas on further account 

Will m Blake 


25: Nov r - 1809 
Received of M r - Butts twenty Pounds on further account 

William Blake 



16 Janry 1810 

Received of Mr. T. Butts twenty one Pounds on 
further account 

William Blake 


3: March 1810 
Received of M r - Butts ten Guineas on further account 

William Blake 
10 10,,- 


14: April 1810 

Received of M r - Butts twenty one Pounds on further 

William Blake 

106. TO THOMAS BUTTS 30 JUNE 1810 

30: June 1810 

Received of M r - Butts five Guineas on further account 

Wffl m Blake 
5 i) 5 )>~ 

107. TO THOMAS BUTTS 14 JULY 1810 

14: July 1810 
Received of M r - Butts fifteen Guineas on further account 

William Blake 
15 ,, *5,>- 



20: Sept r - 1810 
Received of M r - Butts ten Pounds ten Shillings on 

further account 

William Blake 

10 10,,- 


18: Dec r - 1810 
Received of M r - Butts ten Pounds ten Shillings on 

further account 

William Blake 

10 10 - 


29 JULY 1815 

Etruria, 29 July 1815 

Sir, I return the drawing you have been so good to 
send me, which I entirely approve in all respects. I 
ought to have mentioned when the Terrine was sent you 
that the hole for the ladle in the cover should not be 
represented & which you will be so good to omit in the 

I presume you would make a drawing of each article 
that is to be engraved, & if it will be agreeable to you to 
complete the drawings before the engraving is begun, I 
think it may enable me to make the best arrangement of 
the articles on the copper plates, but if this is not quite as 
agreeable to you as going on with the drawing & en- 
graving together, I will only beg you to make two or 
three drawings, & I will in that case in the mean time 
consider of the arrangement. I have directed a Terrine 


to be sent you, presuming you will prefer having only 
one vessell at a time. If you would have more, be so 
good as to let Mr. Mowbray at my house know, who has 
a list of more articles. 

I am, Sir, 

Your mo. obt svt, 

Josiah Wedgwood 1 
M r Blake, 17 South Molton St. 



I send Two more drawings with the First that I did, 
altered, having taken out that part which expressed the 
hole for the ladle. 

It will be more convenient to me to make all the 
drawings first, before I begin Engraving them, as it will 
enable me also to regulate a System of working that will 
be uniform from beginning to end. Any Remarks that 
you may be pleased to make will be thankfully reciev'd 
by, Sir 

Your humble Servant 

William Blake 
17 South Molton Street 

8 Septemb r 1815 



I send you a List of the different Works you have done 

1 Josiah Wedgwood the younger, second son of the founder of the pottery- 
works at Etruria, Staffordshire. Blake had been recommended to the 
Wedgwoods by Flaxman in order to make drawings and engravings of 
their pottery for a pictorial catalogue, intended only for their own use. 
Blake engraved 185 figures on 18 plates during the years 1815-1816, and 
13 more plates were engraved by others. For further details of the trans- 
actions see Blake Studies, 1949, pp. 67-75. 

L.W.B. M 1 77 

me the honour to enquire after unprofitable enough to 
ifie, tho' Expensive to the Buyer. Those I Printed for 
M r Humphry x are a selection from the different Books 
of such as could be Printed without the Writing, 2 tho 3 to 
the Loss of some of the best things. For they when 
Printed perfect accompany Poetical Personifications & 
Acts, without which Poems they never could have been 

s. d. 

America . . .18 Prints folio . 550 
Europe . . . 17 do. folio . 550 
Visions & c . . 8 do. folio . 3 3 o 
Thel ... 6 do. Quarto . 220 
Songs of Innocence . 28 do. Octavo . 3 3 o 
Songs of Experience . 26 do. Octavo . 3 3 o 
Urizen ... 28 Prints Quarto . 55 
Milton ... 50 do. Quarto . 10 10 o 
12 Large Prints, 3 Size of Each about 2 feet by 
i & |, Historical & Poetical, Printed in 
Colours ..... Each 550 

These last 1 2 Prints are unaccompanied by any writing. 

The few I have Printed & Sold are sufficient to have 
gained me great reputation as an Artist, which was the 
chief thing Intended. But I have never been able to 
produce a Sufficient number for a general Sale by means 

1 Ozias Humphry, the miniaturist. 

2 This probably refers to the two series of colour-printed designs known 
as the Large and Small Book of Designs, now in the Print Room at the British 
Museum. These consist for the most part of designs printed from the plates 
of the illuminated books, but omitting the text, and are thus incomplete, as 
Blake points out. The two books in the British Museum have now been 
broken up, so that the plates may be examined separately. Another series 
of the prints appears also to have been broken up, perhaps by Blake himself, 
and the contents scattered. 

3 These are the large colour-printed monotypes of which there is a set, 
lacking only two, in the Tate Gallery. The twelve subjects were "God 
creating Adam", "Lamech and his two Wives", "The Good and Evil 
Angels", "Elijah in the Fiery Chariot", "Ruth parting from Naomi", 
"Satan exulting over Eve", "Nebuchadnezzar", "Pity, like a naked new- 
born babe", "Christ appearing to the Apostles", "Newton", "The Lazar 
House", and "Hecate". 

I 7 8 

of a regular Publisher. It is therefore necessary to me that 
any Person wishing to have any or all of them should send 
me their Order to Print them on the above terms, & I will 
take care that they shall be done at least as well as any I 
have yet Produced. 

I am, Sir,, with many thanks for your very Polite 
approbation of my works, 

Your most obedient Servant, 

William Blake 
9 June 1818 
17 South Molton Street 

113. TO THOMAS BUTTS [?] c. 1818 

The Order in which the Songs of Innocence & of Experi- 
ence ought to be paged & placed. 1 


1 . General Title 

2. Frontispiece of Piper 

3. Title page to Songs of Innocence 

4. Introduction Piping down the Valleys & c 

5. Ecchoing Green 

6. Ditto 

7. The Lamb 

8. The Shepherd 

9. Infant Joy 

10. Little Black Boy 

n. Ditto 

12. Laughing Song 

13. Spring 

14. Ditto 

1 It is not certainly known for whom Blake drew up this Index to the 
Songs. The order was, however, adopted only in one copy (V in the Census), 
which belonged to Thomas Butts and is printed on paper with a watermark 
dated 1818. 


15. Cradle Song 

1 6. Ditto 

17. Nurse's Song 

18. Holy Thursday 

19. The Blossom 

20. The Chimney Sweeper 

21. The Divine Image 

22. Night 

23. Ditto 

24. A Dream 

25. On Anothers Sorrow 

26. The Little Boy Lost 

27. The Little Boy Found 

End of Songs of Innocence: then Begins Songs of Experi- 


28. Frontispiece of Child on the Shepherd's head 

29. Title Page of Songs of Experience 

30. Introduction Hear the Voice of the Bard & c 

3 1 . Earth's Answer 

32. Nurse's Song 

33. The Fly 

34. TheTyger 

35. Little Girl Lost 

36. Ditto 

37. Ditto 

38. The Clod & Pebble 

39. The Little Vagabond 

40. Holy Thursday 

41. A Poison Tree 

42. The Angel 

43. The Sick Rose 

44. To Tirzah 

45. The Voice of the Ancient Bard 

1 80 


46. My pretty Rose Tree 

47. The Garden of Love 

48. A Little Boy Lost 

49. Infant Sorrow 

50. The School Boy 

51. London 

52. A little Girl Lost 

53. The Chimney Sweeper. A little Black thing & c 

54. The Human Abstract 


Reciev'd. 12 Augst 1818 of M r Linnell 

Two Pounds W. Blake 


19 Septemb 1 1818 M r Linnell D r To Will m - Blake 
For Laying in the Engravng of M r Upton's 

portrait l 15. 15. o 

Reciev'd on this account 7. o. o 

8. 15. o 


Recievd 9 Nov r 1818 of M r Linnell 
The Sum of Five Pounds on Account 

William Blake 

5- Q- Q- 

1 That is, etching the first outline of an engraving from Linnell's portrait 
of a Baptist minister named Upton. 



Recieved 31 Decemb r 1818 of M r Linnell the Sum of 

Three Pounds Fifteen Shillings 

the Balance of Account of M r Upton's Plate. 

William Blake 



August 27, 1819 

Reciev'd One Pound Nineteen & Sixpence of M r < Linnell 
for Songs of Innocence & Experience. 1 
One Copy William Blake 

i. 19- 6 - 

119. TO JOHN LINNELL [?] 11 OCTOBER 1819 

Dear Sir, 

I will have the Pleasure of meeting you on Thursday at 
1 2 O ? Clock; it is quite as convenient to me as any other day. 
It appears to me that neither Time nor Place can make 
any real difference as to perfect Independence of Judg- 
ment, & If it is more Convenient to M r Heaphy 2 for us 
to meet at his House let us accomodate him in what is 
Indifferent but not at all in what is of weight & moment 
to our Decision: hoping that I may meet you again in 
perfect Health & Happiness 

I remain Dear Sir 

Yours Truly 

William Blake 
Oct. ii 1819 
Monday Evening 

1 Linnell gave this copy of Blake's Songs to his son William in 1863. It is 
now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, having been bequeathed by 
William LinnelTs daughter, Mrs. T. H. Riches, 

2 Thomas Heaphy (1775-1835), engraver and water-colour artist. 



Reciev'd 30 Decemb r 1819 of M r Linnell the sum of 
Fourteen Shillings for Jerusalem Chap 2. 1 

Will* Blake 

o. 14. o. 


Recievd April 30: 1821 of M r Linnell the Sum of Two 
Guineas for Heaven & Hell 2 

Will 111 Blake 


Reciev'd i March 1822 of M r Linnell Three Pounds 

on Acco** 

William Blake 

3- - o- 


Memorandum of Agreement between William Blake 
and John LinnelL 

March 25 th 1823. 

W. Blake agrees to Engrave the set of Plates from his 
own designs of Job's Captivity in number twenty, for 

1 Probably part of the Linnell copy of Jerusalem, printed in black, now in 
the possession of Mrs. Kinder. f 

2 This copy of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, first printed in 1790, is 
perhaps the most beautiful in existence, the text, as well as the designs, 
being iUuminated in brilliant colours. It was sold with the Linnell collection 
at Christie's, 18 March 1918 (lot 195, Riches, 756), and is now in the 
T. H. Riches collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 


John Linnell and John Linnell agrees to pay William 
Blake five Pounds per Plate or one hundred Pounds for 
the set part before and the remainder when the Plates are 
finished as M r - Blake may require it, besides which J. 
Linnell agrees to give W. Blake one hundred pounds 
more out of the Profits of the work as the receipts will 
admit of it. 

Signed J. Linnell Will m Blake 

NJB. J. L. to find copper Plates. 

1823 March 25 th 

Cash on ace 1 of Plates in the foregoing agreement 
-o W. B. 


[Most of the entries are initialled by Blake] 

[Page 2r.] 1823 

March 20 To M r Blake I st payment on account . s. 
of Job: see memorandum of agree- 
ment &c. WB 5. o. 
May 2 Cash D WB 3. o. 
D D WB 10. o. 
July ii D D WB 3. o. 
Aug* 2 D D WB 2. o. 
17 DO D WB i. o. 
Sep 3 D DO WB 2. o. 
14 D D WB i. o. 
25 DO DO WB 2. o. 
Oc* 12 DO D WB i. o. 
20 D D WB i. o. 
Nov r 6 D D WB i. o. 

32- o. 


[Page 2v.] 1823 

Nov r Cash Paid to M r Blake on account 




Bro* over 



13 Cash 




15 D Balmanno's Sub. 




18 D 




Dec r 15 DO 




1824 Mr Leigh's Sub. 




Jan 10 Cash 









Feb 2 d Cash 




21 DO 



March 29 D 



May 4 D M r Muss's sub 



6 DO 



June 1 1 D 



i Chaldron of Coals 




July 6 Cash by D r Thornton's order 







[Page in] 

Aug* 18 th 1824 

Cash on account of The Portrait of 

M r Lowry x 



November io tlr D D 



Dec r 25 DO D 



Jan 28 1825 DO DO 



for Sketches of Subjects from Dante, 

carried to page 5 


Oc* io th on ace* of Drawings of Paradise 

regained 2 



Nov r ig tl1 D D 


1 Wilson Lowry, F.R.S. (1762-1824), engraver and inventor. 

2 The twelve water-colour drawings for Paradise Regained remained in the 
Linnell collection until it was sold at Christie's, 15 March 1918. They were 
then acquired by T. H, Riches and are now in the, Fitzwilliam Museum, 


[Page 3 r.] 


28 th 

March 12 
April 8 
May 3 d 
June 6 



Oct I st 


Brot over 
Cash on ace 1 of Job 

D D 

D D 

D D 

D D 

By Coals sent in May 





D by M r Flaxman's Sub 

DO M r Calvert's D 
by Sir Tho 8 Lawrence D 
for one Copy. The extra 5 gs. 
which Sir T. L. gave is not 
reckoned against M r Blake. Sir 
T. L. perhaps intended it for the 
copy presented to him for the 
library of the Royal Academy. 


9- 7- 9- 
WB 5. 
WB 5. 
WB 3. 10. 
WB 5. 
WB 2. 
WB 2. 13. 6 
WB 3. 
WB i. 
WB 10. 
WB i. 


3- 3- 

5- 5- 

150. 19. 3. 


Subscribers & Purchasers of The Book of Illustrations of 
The History of Job Designed & Engraved 

By William Blake 

Begun 1823 & Publishd March 1826 
by The Author & J. Linnell 

Oct 2 

Ed. Hodges Baily Esq. R.A. 
Sub. for one Copy plain 
Balmanno Esq. D 
Leigh, Booksellers from 

Mr Willowby 
J. Flaxman Esq. R.A. 

one copy plain 

1 86 


2. 12. 6 

2. 12. 6 

2. 12. 6 

3- 3- 


Oct2 Mr Riviere D 2. 12. 6 

Mr Harrison, Tower St. 2.12.6 

Mr Butts, Fitzroy Sqr. 

i Copy of Proofs for 3. 3- 

because he lent the Drawings to Copy 
H. Robinson Esqr. of the Temple 

3 copies 9- 9* 

Mr Prosser, Charing X 

one copy plain 3- 3- 

C. H. Tatham Esq r - 

one copy plain . 2. 12. 6 

Dr H. Ley i copy plain 

Half Moon S*, Piccadilly 2. 12. 6 

Mr Behnes, Dean St., Soho 

i copy plain 2. 12. 6 

Mr Waters DO 2. 12. 6 

Parker, Bookseller, Oxford 

i copy plain 2. 12. 6 

Mr Calvert, Brixton 

i copy plain 2. 12. 6 

Clunould, Booksellers, Spring Gardens 

i copy plain 2. 12* 6 

1826 Proofs 

Sir Henry Torrens 

proofs 5 5 

Rev^Edw. Bury D 5-5- 

Anthony Stewart Esq 4- J 4- 6 

Cha 8 Aders Esq. DO 5-5- 

T, G. Wainwright Esq. D 5-5- 

James Vine Esq, 5 5 

Sir Tho 8 Lawrence 

one copy of Proofs for himself 5 . 5 

one copy given to the Royal Academy 

but Sir T. L. sent 10 gs. to Mr Blake 

5 gs. of which was given to Mr B. although 

S. T. L. might have intended it for the 

Copy presented to him for the Royal 



1826 Proofs 

The King i copy of Proofs Sent by the order 

of Sir W m Knighton & Dr Gooch, & for 

which 10 gs. was ordered to be paid, & 

was pd. by Messrs Budd & Calkin Pall 

given to Mr Blake i o . i o . 
Josiah Taylor Esq. i copy of Proofs sent to 

the House of Correction by F. Tatham 

Taylor being S d H. of C. for swindling 5 . 5 . 
Mr Young of Devonshire by Mr Johns, 

i copy 5- 


Mr Johns of Devonshire, i copy 3 . 

Mr Flower of Islington, i copy 3 . 3 . 

Mr Geo Young, surgeon, brother of Young, 

the actor i copy 3 . 3 . 

Mr Rev d Jebb 3 . 3 . 

Mr Bird 2. 12. 6 

Augt 1832 H. W. Lizars, Edinburgh, for a friend 2. 12 . 6 

H. Meredith Esq., Harley Place 

i copy of Proofs 5 . 5 . 

Rev 4 L. Daniel of Norwich 

i copy sent to Oxford 5 . 

Westmacott, R.A. 

i c. Proof 5 . 5 . 

Chantry, R.A. 

i c. Proof 5 . 5 . 

Mr S. Woodburn 

one copy Proof 5 . 5 . 

Sir Geo, Pocock Bt 

i c. proof 5 . 5 . 

W. S. Davidson Esq. 

ic. proof 5. 5. 

1 833 The Earl of Egremont 6 . 6 . 

[There are a few other undated entries of copies supplied to 
booksellers and to Colnaghi & Co.] 


Account of Expenses of the Book of Job by Mr Blake. 

1823 s - ^ 

6 copper plates for Job i . 

6 DO D i. 2. 

6 DO D i-S-7 

1825 2 D D 6. 
proofs i . 
D at Dixons & paper i . 
D at Lahee & 10. 

Sep Proofs & 2. 

Oct DO & 2. 

Nov Binding 3 sets 7 . 6 

9- 19- i 
March 1826 Paid to Mr Lahee for 150 sets of Proofs 

on Indian paper 56 . 5 . 

to Freeman the workman i . 

to Mr White for Boarding 2. 4. 6 

i ream of paper for D 1.6. 

To Mr Leighton for Binding & paper &c 13. 1 7. 

May To Lahee for 65 sets of Job on french paper 16. 3 . 

1826 To D for 50 sets on Drawing paper 10. 10. 
To D for D IQ, 10. 

in. 15. 

126. TO JOHN LINNELL 1825 

Dear Sir, 

A return of the old shivering fit l came on this Morn- 
ing as soon as I awaked & I am now in Bed, Better & as 
I think almost well. If I can possibly, I will be at M r 
Lahee's 2 tomorrow Morning; these attacks are too serious 
at the time to permit me to be out of Bed, but they go off 
by rest, which seems to be All that I want. I send the 

1 Probably due to gallstones and inflammation of the gall-bladder from 
which he afterwards died. 

2 Lahee was a copper-plate printer, who was employed by Linnell to 
print the engravings for Illustrations of the Book of Job (see above). 


Pilgrims 1 under your Care with the Two First Plates of 

I am, Yours Sincerely, 

Will Blake 
12 O'clock 


Dear Madam, 

I have had the Pleasure to see M r Linnell set off safe 
in a very comfortable Coach, & I may say I accompanied 
him part of the way on his Journey in the Coach, for we 
both got in together & with another Passenger entered 
into Conversation, when at length we found that we were 
all three proceeding on our Journey ; but as I had not paid 
& did not wish to pay for or take so long a Ride, we, with 
some difficulty, made the Coachman understand that one 
of his Passengers was unwilling to Go, when he obligingly 
permitted me to get out, to my great joy; hence I am now 
enabled to tell you that I hope to see you on Sunday 
morning as usual, which I could not have done if they 
had taken me to Gloucester* 

I am, d r * Madam, yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 

ii October 1825 


Dear Sir, 

I have, I believe, done nearly all that we agreed on & c . 
If you should put on your considering Cap, just as you 

1 Probably an impression of the engraving of Chaucer's Canterbury 


did last time we met, I have no doubt that the Plates 
would be all the better for it. I cannot get Well & am 
now in Bed, but seem as if I should be better to-morrow; 
rest does me good. Pray take care of your health this wet 
weather, & tho 5 I write, do not venture out on such days 
as to-day has been. I hope a few more days will bring us 
to a conclusion. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
Thursday Evening 
10 Nov r 1825 
Fountain Court 


Dear Sir, 

I am forced to write, because I cannot come to you, & 
this on two accounts. First, I omitted to desire you would 
come & take a Mutton chop with us the day you go to 
Cheltenham, & I will go with you to the Coach; also, I 
will, go to Hampstead to see Mrs. Linnell on Sunday, 
but will return before dinner (I mean if you set off before 
that), & Second, I wish to have a Copy of Job to shew 
to M r Chantry. 1 

fFor I am again laid up by a cold in my stomach; the 
Hampstead Air, as it always did, so I fear it always will 
do this, Except it be the Morning air; & That, in my 
Cousin's 2 time, I found I could bear with safety & per- 
haps benefit. I believe my Constitution to be a good one, 
but it has many peculiarities that no one but myself can 

1 Francis Legatt Chantrey, R.A. (1781-1842), sculptor; knighted in 1835; 
founder of the Chantrey Bequest. 

2 There is no clue as to the identity of Blake's cousin. 

know. When I was young, Hampstead, Highgate, Horn- 
sea, Muswell Hill, & even Islington & all places North of 
London, always laid me up the day after, & sometimes 
two or three days, with precisely the same Complaint & 
the same torment of the Stomach, Easily removed, but 
excruciating while it lasts & enfeebling for some time 
after JS r Francis Bacon 1 would say, it is want of discipline 
in Mountainous Places. S r Francis Bacon is a Liar. No 
discipline will turn one Man into another, even in the 
least particle, & such discipline I call Presumption & 
Folly. I have tried it too much not to know this, & am 
very sorry for all such who may be led to such ostentatious 
Exertion against their Eternal Existence itself, because it 
is Mental Rebellion against the Holy Spirit, & fit only 
for a Soldier of Satan to perform. 

Though I hope in a morning or two to call on you in 
Cirencester Place, I feared you might be gone, or I might 
be too ill to let you know how I am, & what I wish. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
Feb* i. 1826 


London Sunday Morning 
Dear Madam, 

Mr. Linnell will have arrived at his Journey's end 2 
before the time I now write; he set off Last night before 

1 Bacon, the scientist, materialist, and courtier, had long been the object 
of Blake's hatred. He annotated an edition of Bacon's Essays, dated 1798, 
and wrote on the title-page "Good Advice for Satan's Kingdom" (see 
Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 768). 

2 It seems probable that this refers to the same journey as is the subject 
of the first part of the letter of i February. Blake there stated his intention 
of seeing Mrs. Linnell on the following Sunday, but probably he was not 
well enough to go, and so wrote this note instead. 


Eight o'clock from the Angel Inn near St. Clements 
Church, Strand, on one of the Strongest & Handsomest 
Built Stages I ever Saw. I should have written Last 
Night, but as it would not come before now, I do as 
Mr. Linnell desired I would do by the First Stage. My 
Wife desires her kindest remembrances to you & I am 

Yours sincerely, 

Will m Blake 

Excuse the writing. I have delayed too long. 

131. TO JOHN LINNELL ? 1826 

Dear Sir, 

I return you thanks for The Two Pounds you now send 
me. As to S r T. Lawrence, 1 1 have not heard from him 
as yet, & hope that he has a good opinion of my willing- 
ness to appear grateful, tho 3 not able, on account of this 
abominable Ague, or whatever it is. fl am in Bed & a 
Work; my health I cannot speak of, foV if it was not for 
the Cold weather I think I should soon get about again. 
Great Men die equally with the little.^ I am sorry for IA 
Ls.; he is a man of very singular abilities, as also for the 
D. of C.; 2 but perhaps, & I verily believe it^very death 
is an improvement of the State of the Departed. I can 
draw as well a-Bed as Up, & perhaps better; but I cannot^ 
Engrave. I am going on with Dante, 3 & please myselfy 
I am, d r Sir, yours sincerely, 

William Blake 
Tuesday Night 

1 Sir Thomas Lawrence was an admirer of Blake's work, and about this 
time bought a copy of Songs of Innocence and of Experience, and water-colour 
drawings of "Queen Catherine's Dream" and "The Wise and Foolish 
Virgins". The second of these was stated by a friend of Lawrence to have 
been his favourite drawing which he commonly kept on a table in his studio 
(see Mona Wilson, Life of Blake, 1948, p. 278). 

2 "Ld. Ls." and "the D. of C." are not identified. 

8 That is, the water-colour drawings for Dante's Divina Commedia on 
which he was still engaged at the time of his death. 

L.W.B. N 193 


Friday Evening, March 31, 1826. 

Dear Sir, 

I have been very ill since I saw you, but am again well 
enough to go on with my work, but not well enough to 
venture out; the Chill of the weather soon drives me back 
into that shivering fit which must be avoided till the Gold 
is gone. 

M r Robinson * certainly did Subscribe for Prints only 
& not for Proofs, 2 for I remember that he offer 5 d to pay 
me Three Guineas for each of the Copies. 

However, if the weather should be warm I will en- 
deavour to come to you before Tuesday, but much fear 
that my present tottering state will hold me some time 


I am, dear Sir, yours sincerely 

Will*- Blake 

133. TO JOHN LINNELL 19 MAY 1826 

Dear Sir, 

(l have had another desperate Shivering Fit; it came on 
yesterday afternoon after as good a morning as I ever 
experienced. It began by a gnawing Pain in the Stomach, 
& soon spread a deathly feel all over the limbs, which 
brings on the shivering fit, when I am forced to go to bed, 
where I contrive to get into a little perspiration, which 
takes it quite away. It was night when it left me, so I did 
not get up, but just as I was going to rise this morning, 
the shivering fit attacked me again & the pain, with its 
accompanying deathly feel. I got again into a perspira- 
tion, & was well, but so much weaken' d that I am still 

1 Henry Crabb Robinson. 

2 The engravings of Illustrations of the Book of Job. 

J 94 

in bed. This entirely prevents me from the pleasure of 
seeing you on Sunday at Hampstead, as I fear the attack 
again when I am away from home. 

I am, d r - Sir, 

Yours sincerely, 

William Blake 
Friday Evening 
May 19 1826 


My dearest Friend, 

This sudden cold weather has cut up all my hopes by 
the roots. Every one who knows of our intended flight 
into your delightful Country concur in saying: "Do not 
Venture till summer appears again". I also feel Myself 
weaker than I was aware, being not able, as yet, to sit up 
longer than six hours at a time; & also feel the Cold too 
much to dare venture beyond my present precincts. My 
heartiest Thanks for your care in my accomodation, & 
the trouble you will yet have with me. But I get better 
& stronger every day, tho' weaker in muscle & bone than 
I supposed. As to pleasantness of Prospect; it is All 
pleasant Prospect at North End. M rs Kurd's x I should 
like as well as any But think of the Expense & how it 
may be spared, & never mind appearances. 

I intend to bring with me, besides our necessary change 
of apparel, Only My Book of Drawings from Dante & 
one Plate shut up in the Book. All will go very well in 
the Coach, which, at present, would be a rumble I fear 
I could not go thro 5 . So that I conclude another Week 
must pass before I dare Venture upon what I ardently 
desire the seeing you with your happy Family once 

1 Linnell's lodgings, before he went to Collins' Farm, North End, 


again, & that for a longer Period than I had ever hoped 
in my healthfull hours. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Yours most gratefully, 

William Blake 


< ;' ' 5J ul Y J 826. 
Dear Sir, **" 

I thank you for the Receit of Five Pounds this Morning, 
& Congratulate you on the receit of another fine Boy; 
am glad to hear of M rs LinneU's health & safety. 
/I am getting better every hour; my Plan is diet only; 
& if the Machine is capable of it, shall make an old man 
yet. I go on just as if perfectly well, which indeed I am, 
except in those paroxysms, which I now believe will never 
more return. jPray let your own health & convenience put 
all solicitude concerning me at rest. You have a Family, 
I have none; there is no comparison between our necessary 

Believe me to be, d r - Sir. 

Yours sincerely, 

William Blake 

136. TO JOHN LINNELL 14 JULY 1826 

London July 14: 1826, 

Recievd of M r John Linnell, the Sum of One Hundred 
& fifty Pounds for the Copy-right & Plates (Twenty-two 
in number) of the Book of Job. Published March 1825 
by Me. William Blake Author of the Work. 

N 3 Fountain Court Strand. 
Witness: Edw d Jno Chance * 

1 A print 4ealer working at 28 London St., Fitzroy Square. 

137. TO JOHN LINNELL 16 JULY 1826 

Dear Sir, 

I have been, ever since taking D r Young's Addition 
to M r Fincham's Practise with me (the Addition is 
dandelion). In a species of delirium & in Pain too much 
for Thought. It is now passed, as I hope. But the mo- 
ment I got ease of Body, began Pain of Mind, & that not 
a small one. It is about The Name of the Child, 1 which 
Certainly ought to be Thomas, after M rs LinnelPs 
Father. It will be brutal, not to say worse, for it is worse 
In my opinion & on my Part. Pray Reconsider it, if it 
is not too late. It very much troubles Me, as a Grime in 
which I shall be The Principal. Pray Excuse this hearty 
Expostulation, & believe me to be, Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
Sunday Afternoon 

July 1 6. 1826 

P.S. Fincham is a Pupil of Abernethy's; 2 this is what 
gives me great pleasure. I did not know it before yester- 
day, from M r Fincham. 

138. TO JOHN LINNELL 29 JULY 1826 

Dear Sir, 

Just as I had become Well, that is, subdued the disease 
tho 3 not its Effects, Weakness & c , Comes Another to 
hinder my Progress, calPd The Piles, which, when to the 
degree I have had them, are a most sore plague & on a 
Weak Body truly afflictive. These Piles have now also as 
I hope run their Period, & I begin to again feel returning 
Strength; on these accounts I cannot yet tell when I can 
start for Hampstead like a young Lark without feathers. 

1 It was finally named James, the next son being called William. 

2 John Abernethy (1764-1831), surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. 


Two or Three days may be sufficient or not; all now will 
depend on my bones & sinews. Muscle I have none, but 
a few days may do, & have done, miracles in the Case of 
a Convalescent who prepares himself ardently for his 
return to Life & its Business among his Friends 
With whom he makes his first Effort. 

Dear Sir, Yours Ever, 

William Blake 
29 July 1826 

139. TO MRS. ADERS 29 JULY 1826 

Recieved 29 July 1826 of M rs Aders * by the hands of 
M r Linnell the Sum of Two Pounds Five Shillings for 
the Songs of Innocence. 2 

William Blake 

2- 5- o- 


Dear Sir, 

If this Notice should be too short for your Conveni- 
ence, please to let me know. But finding myself Well 
enough to come, I propose to set out from here as soon 
after ten as we can on Thursday Morning. Our Carriage 
will be a Cabriolet, for tho' getting better & stronger, I 
am still incapable of riding in the Stage, & shall be, I 
fear, for some time, being only bones & sinews, All 

1 Mrs. Aders, the daughter of Raphael Smith, the mezzotint engraver, 
had married a wealthy merchant of German extraction. They lived in 
Euston Square and there entertained many artists and literary men. It was 
at their house that Blake first met Henry Crabb Robinson in 1825. 

2 This copy of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience was afterwards bought 
back by John Linnell, who gave it to his son James in 1863. It was sold 
with the Linnell collection at Christie's, 18 March 1918 (lot 215, Carfax, 
735) an d is now in the T. H. Riches collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, 


strings & bobbins like a Weaver's Loom. Walking to & 
from the Stage would be, to me, impossible; tho 5 I seem 
well, being entirely free from both pain & from that 
Sickness to which there is no name. Thank God, I feel 
no more of it, & have great hopes that the disease is 

I am, dear Sir, Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
Aug 8t i 1826 


Dear Sir, 

I ought to have acknowledged the Receit of Five 
Pounds from you on 16 Jan y 1827; that part of your 
Letter in which you desired I would send an acknow- 
ledg'd it [sic] I did not see till the next morning, owing to 
its being writ on the outside double of your letter; never- 
theless I ought to have sent it, but must beg you to 
Excuse such Follies, which tho' I am enough asham'd of 
& hope to mend, can only do so at present by owning the 

I am, dear Sir, yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
Saturday Night 
Jan y 27 1827 


February, 1827. 
Dear Sir, 

I thank you for the Five Pounds recieved to day: am 
getting better every Morning, but slowly, as* I am still 
feeble & tottering, tho 5 all the Symptoms of my complaint 


seem almost gone as the fine weather is very beneficial & 
comfortable to me.. I go on, as I think, improving my 
Engravings of Dante x more & more, & shall soon get 
Proofs of these Four which I have, & beg the favour of 
you to send me the two Plates of Dante which you have, 
that I may finish them sufficiently to make some shew of 
Cplour & Strength. 

' I have thought & thought of the Removal & cannot 
get my Mind out of a state of terrible fear at such a step; 
the more I think, the more I feel terror at what I wish'd 
at first & thought it a thing of benefit & Good hope; 
you will attribute it to its right Cause Intellectual Pecu- 
liarity, that must be Myself alone shut up in Myself, or 
Reduced to Nothing. I could tell you of Visions & 
dreams upon the Subject. I have asked & intreated 
Divine help, but fear continues upon me, & I must 
relinquish the step that I had wish'd to take, & still wish, 
but in vain. *\ 

Your Success in your Profession is above all things to 
me most gratifying; may it go on to the Perfection you 
wish & more. So wishes also 

Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 


Dear Sir, 

I calPd this Morning for a Walk & brought my Plates 
with me to prevent the trouble of your Coming thro 5 
Curiosity to see what I was about. I have got on very 

1 Blake had engraved seven of the plates for Dante before he died, and 
sets of the prints were sold by Linnell in their unfinished state. These were 
still obtainable from the Linnell trustees up to the time of the sale of the 
Linnell collection in March 1918. The copper-plates are now in the Lessing 
Rosenwald collection. National Gallery, Washington, D.G. 


forward with 4 Plates, & am getting better or I could 
not have Come at all. 


Will* Blake 


Dear Sir, 

This is to thank you for Two Pounds, now by me 
reciev'd on account. I have reciev'd a Letter from M r 
Cumberland, in which he says he will take one Copy of 
Job for himself, but cannot, as yet, find a Customer for 
one, but hopes to do somewhat by perseverance in his 
Endeavours; he tells me that it is too much Finish'd, or 
over Labour'd, for his Bristol Friends, as they think. I 
saw M r Tatham, 1 Sen r ., yesterday; he sat with me 
above an hour, & look'd over the Dante; he express'd 
himself very much pleas' d with the designs as well as 
the Engravings. I am getting on with the Engravings 
& hope soon to get Proofs of what I am doing. 
I am, dear Sir, Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
15 March 1827 

145. TO MARIA DENMAN 2 18 MARCH 1827 

M r Blake's respectful Compliments to Miss Denman 
has found 15 Proofs of The Hesiod: 3 as they are dupli- 
cates to others which he has, they are intirely at Miss 

1 C. H. Tatham, architect, father of Blake's friend, Frederick Tatham. 
Blake had known the elder Tatham at least since 1799, when he gave him 
a copy of America) and his name appears in the list of subscribers to Tatham's 
Etchings of Ancient Ornamental Architecture, London, 1799, f. 

2 Sister-in-law of John Flaxman. 

8 Blake had engraved 38 plates for Flaxman's Compositions from the Works 
Days and Theogony of Hesiod, London, 1817. 


Denman's Service if she will accept of them: what Proofs 
he has remaining are all Printed on both sides of the 
Paper & so are unfit for to make up a set, especially as 
many of the backs of the paper have on them impressions 
from other Plates for Booksellers, which he was employed 
about at the same time. 

Wednesday Morning 

1 8 March 1827 
3 Fountain Court, Strand 

146. TO JOHN LINNELL* 1827 

Dear Sir, 

I am still far from recovered, & dare not gat out in the 
cold air. Yet I lose nothing by it. Dante goes on the 
better, which is all I care about. 

Mr. Butts is to have a Proof Copy for Three Guineas; 
this is his own decision, quite in Character. He called 
on me this Week. 

Yours sincerely, 

William Blake 


Dear Cumberland, 

/I have been very near the Gates of Death & have re- 
turned very weak & an Old Man feeble & tottering, but 
not in Spirit & Life, not in The Real Man The Imagina- 
tion which Liveth for Ever. In that I am stronger & 
stronger as this Foolish Body decays.)! thank you for the 
Pains you have taken with Poor Job. I know too well 
that a great majority of Englishmen are fond of The 
Indefinite which they Measure by Newton's 1 Doctrine 

1 Newton was for Blake the type of materialism and abstract philosophy, 
and therefore antipathetic to imagination and Art. See p. 64, note. 


of the Fluxions of an Atom, A Thing that does not Exist. 
These are Politicians & think that Republican Art is 
Inimical to their Atom. For a Line or Lineament is not 
formed by Chance: a Line is a Line in its Minutest Sub- 
divisions: Strait or Crooked It is Itself & Not Inter- 
measurable with or by any Thing Else. Such is Job, but 
since the French Revolution Englishmen are all Inter- 
measurable One by Another, Certainly a happy state 
of Agreement to which I for One do not Agree. God 
keep me from the Divinity of Yes & No too. The 
Yea Nay Creeping Jesus, 1 from supposing Up & Down 
to be the same Thing as all Experimentalists must 

You are desirous I know to dispose of some of my 
Works & to make them Pleasin[g] . I am obliged to you & 
to all who do so. But having none remaining of all that I 
had Printed I cannot Print more Except at a great loss, 
for at the time I printed those things I had a whole 
House to range in: now I am shut up in a Corner therefore 
am forced to ask a Price for them that I scarce expect to 
get from a Stranger. I am now Printing a Set of the 
Songs of Innocence & Experience for a Friend at Ten 
Guineas which I cannot do under Six Months consistent 
with my other Work, so that I have little hope of doing 
any more of such things. The Last Work I produced is a 
Poem Entitled Jerusalem the Emanation of the Giant 
Albion, but find that to Print it will Cost my Time the 
amount of Twenty Guineas. One I have Finished. It con- 
tains 100 Plates but it is not likely that I shall get a 
Customer for it. 2 

1 cp. "The Everlasting Gospel", c: 

If he had been Antichrist, Creeping Jesus, 
He'd have done anything to please us: 
(see Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 135). 

2 This is the unique coloured copy of Jerusalem now in the library of Yale 
University, New Haven, U.S.A. A complete facsimile in colour was issued 
by the Trustees of the William Blake Trust in 1952. 


As you wish me to send you a list with the Prices of 
these things they are as follows 

' s d 

America 6. 6. o 

Europe 6. 6. o 

Visions & c 5. 5. o 

Thel 3. 3. o 

Songs of Inn. & Exp, 10. 10. o 

Urizen 6. 6. o 

Little Card * I will do as soon as Possible But 
when you Consider that I have been reduced to a 
Skeleton from which I am slpwly recovering you will I 
hope have Patience with me./ 

/Tlaxman 2 is Gone & we must All soon follow, every 
one to his Own Eternal House, Leaving the Delusive 
Goddess Nature & her Laws to get into Freedom from 
all Law of the Members into The Mind, in which every 
one is King & Priest in his own House. God send it so on 
Earth as it is in Heaven.) 

I am. Dear Sir, Yours Affectionately 

William Blake 
12 April 1827 

N 3 Fountain Court Strand 


A ' 

Dear Sir, /f 

- I am going on better Every day, as I think, both in 
hea[l]th & in work. I thank you for The Ten Pounds 
which I recieved from you this day, which shall be put 

1 A small engraved copper-plate, with a design surrounding the name of . 
"Mr. Cumberland". A note in Cumberland's hand on the blank sheet of 
this letter is as follows: "My little Message card was the last thing to be 
executed, and he dated it thus: W. Blake inv. & sc. M 70 1827; the widow 
charged me 3. 3 for it, and 3. 35. for the Job", 

2 Flaxman had died on 7 December 1826. 



ID a? 

to the best use; as also for the prospect of M r Ottley's 1 
advantageous acquaintance. I go on without daring to 
count on Futurity, which I cannot do without doubt & 
Fear that ruins Activity, & are the greatest hurt to an 
Artist such as I am. As to Ugolino, 2 & c , I never sup- 
posed that I should sell them; my Wife alone is answer- 
able for their having Existed in any finish 3 d State. I am 
too much attach' d to Dante to think much of anything 
else. I have Proved the Six Plates, & reduced the Fight- 
ing devils ready for the Copper. 3 I count myself suffi- 
ciently Paid If I live as I now do, & only fear that I may 
be Unlucky to my friends, & especially that I may not 
be so to you. 

I am, sincerely yours, 

William Blake 
25 April 1827 


Dear Sir, 

| I thank you for the Ten Pounds you are so kind as to 
send me at this time. My journey to Hampstead on 
Sunday brought on a relapse which is lasted till now. I 
find I am not so well as I thought. I must not go on in a 
youthful Style; however, I am upon the mending hand 
to-day, & hope soon to look as I did, for I have been 
yellow, accompanied by all the old Symptoms./ 

I am, dear Sir, 

Yours Sincerely, 

William Blake 
3 July 1827 

1 William Young Ottley (1771-1836), author of a History of Engraving, 
Keeper of the Prints in the British Museum, 1833-1836. 

2 A tempera on a panel of "Ugolino with his Sons and Grandsons in 
Prison", now in my collection. 

8 "The Devils mauling each other" (Inferno, canto xxii, 1. 136), one of the 
seven Dante engravings. 



l8 MAY 1829 

May 1 8th 1829 

Received of Mr. J. Linnell 

one pound Eleven shillings & sixpence for Homers Illiad 

& Oddisy * 

for M rs Blake 
Frederick Tatham 



Wednesday Even g 

My Dr Friend, 

Lest you should not have heard of the Death of M r 
Blake I have Written this to inform you He died on 
Sunday night [12 August] at 6 Oclock in a most glorious 
manner. He said He was going to that Country he had 
all His life wished to see & expressed Himself Happy, 
hoping for Salvation through Jesus Christ Just before 
he died His Countenance became fair. His eyes 
Brighten 5 d and He burst out into Singing of the things 
he saw in Heaven. In truth He Died like a Saint as a 
person who was standing by Him Observed He is to be 

1 This was, no doubt, Blake's copy of Chapman's Homer, folio, 1606, 
which A. T. Story (Life of Linnell > i, 78) states was bought by Linnell after 
Blake's death. The present ownership of the volume is not known. It is 
possible that the volume passed into the possession of Samuel Palmer, since 
his son, A. H, Palmer, in letters written to me in 1926 stated that he had in 
his possession a book with annotations by Blake, He did not reveal what this 
was, but quoted one sentence written in Blake's hand: "Everybody naturally 
hates a perfect character because they are all greater villains than the im- 
perfect as Eneas is here shown a worse man than Achilles in leaving Dido." 
These annotations are still unpublished. 



engraving on copper 1827 

Buryed on Fridayay [sic] at 12 in morn g . 1 Should you 
like to go to the Funeral If you should there there [sic] 
will be Room in the Coach. 

Yrs affection y 

G. Richmond 
Excuse this wretched scrawl 

1 On 17 August in the cemetery at Bunhill Fields, "25 feet from the north 
wall No. 80", as recorded by Cumberland on the letter from Blake of 
12 April 1827. 







[October 1791] 

ADDRESSED ON THE OUTSIDE TO: Mr. Blake, Engraver, Hercules 
Buildings, Westminster Bridge. 

A small folded sheet, bearing a note in the third person from Reveley 
addressed to Blake, with his reply on the other side. 

Formerly in the Linnell collection. Sold at Christie's, 15 March 
1918, with twelve others (lot 214, G. D. Smith, 80 gns.). Now in 
the H.E. Huntington Library, California. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography of Blake, 1921, p. 454; Keynes, Writ- 
ings, 1925, ii, 17; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 831. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

3. To GEORGE CUMBERLAND 6 December 1795 

ADDRESSED TO: G. Cumberland Esq., Bishopsgate, near Egham, 

DATED: Lambeth 6 December 1795. 

A single leaf, written on one side. No watermark. 
Size 37*5X23 cm. 

Now in the BM among the Cumberland Correspondence, Add. 
MSS 36498, f. 51. 

PRINTED: Hampstead Annual, 1903; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 53; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, i, 344; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 831. 

4. To GEORGE CUMBERLAND 23 December 1796 

Not addressed. 

DATED: Lambeth 23 Decemb r , 1796. 

A single leaf written on one side. No dated watermark. 

Size 31 x 19 cm. 

Now in the BM among the Cumberland Correspondence, Add. 

MSS 36498, f. 155. 

PRINTED: Hampstead Annual, 1903; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 56; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, i, 355; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

p. 832. 


5. To DR. TRUSLER 16 August 1799 
HEADED: To the Rev d - D r - Trusler. 

DATED: Hercules Buildg 8 , Lambeth, Aug st 16, 1799. 

A double leaf written on three sides. No dated watermark. 

Size 19 X 19-5 cm. 

Now in the BM among the Cumberland Correspondence, Add. 

MSS 36498, f. 324. 

PRINTED: Hampstead Annual, 1903; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 57; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 173; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

P- 833- 


6. To DR. TRUSLER 23 August 1799 
ADDRESSED TO: Rev d Dr. Trusler, Englefield Green, Egham, Surrey. 
DATED: 13 Hercules Buildings, Lambeth, August 23, 1799. 

A double leaf written on three sides. Watermark dated 1795. 
Size 19 X 15-5 cm. 

Now in the BM among the Cumberland Correspondence, Add. 
MSS 36498, f. 328. 

PRINTED: Hampstead Annual, 1903; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 60; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 174; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 834. 


7. To GEORGE CUMBERLAND 26 August 1799 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr Cumberland, Bishopsgate, Windsor Great Park. 
DATED: Hercules Buildings, Lambeth, Aug st 26, 1799. 

A double leaf, written on three sides. Watermark dated 1795. 
Size 19 X 15*5 cm. 

Now in the BM among the Cumberland Correspondence, Add. 
MSS 36498, f. 330. 

PRINTED: Hampstead Annual, 1903; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 64; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 177; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 836. 


8. To JOHN FLAXMAN 14 December 1799 

DATED: Dec r - 14 1799. 

An oblong slip of paper, 8x 19 cm. 

Now in the Roberts Collection, Haverford College, Haverford 3 Pa. 

PRINTED: Now printed for the first time. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

9. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 18 February 1800 

PRINTED, EXTRACTS ONLY: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 143. (Not other- 
wise known.) 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

10. To WILLIAM HAYLEY i April 1800 

ADDRESSED TO: William Hayley Esqr., Eartham, near Chichester, 

DATED: Hercules Buildings, Lambeth, i April, 1800. 

A double leaf, 4, written on the first leaf; with a part of the seal. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 2, Naylor, 25 j.). Sold at 
Sotheby's 5 July 1909 (lot 106, Quaritch, 3 i8,y.). 

Offered for sale in several catalogues of the stock of Mr. James 
Tregaskis about 1910. Sold at the Anderson Galleries, New York, 
10 Jan. 1908 ($50.00)5 and at Sotheby's, 2 June 1919 (lot 113, 
Campbell, 18), 2 June 1932 (lot 492), and 31 July 1934 (lot 428). 

PRINTED: Tregaskis's catalogues, in facsimile, c. 1910; Keynes, 
Bibliography of Blake, 1921, p. 447; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 179; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 838. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photographic facsimile. 

11. WILLIAM HAYLEY to BLAKE 17 April 1800 

ADDRESSED: To Mr Blake, Engraver, Hercules Buildings, Lambeth, 


DATED: Thursday, April 17, 1800. Postmarked Chichester, with seal. 
A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. Endorsed: "Letter from 
Hayley the Poet to Blake, found among the papers of the latter. 
F. Tatham." 

Offered by Tregaskis & Son in June 1 928 for 85. Sold at Sotheby's, 
17 Feb. 1932 (King, 3 icw.)- Now in my collection. 
PRINTED by Tregaskis & Son in their catalogue. Otherwise un- 

12, To WILLIAM HAYLEY 6 May 1800 
ADDRESSED TO: William Hayley Es* 1 -, Eartham, near Ghichester, 

DATED: Lambeth, May 6, 1800. 

A single leaf, 4. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot i, Naylor, 3 gns.). In the 

Rowfant Library in 1886 in an album of ALS. Bought by Dodd 

Mead & Co., New York. Acquired in 1953 by Harvard College 


PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 144; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 68; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 179; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

p. 838. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


[July 1800] 

HEADED: From Thomas Hayley to Wm. Blake 


A single leaf written on one side. 

Now in the library of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. 

PRINTED: In a slightly different form in Smith's Nollekens and his 
Times > 1828, ii, 465-6. Reprinted in Gilchrist's Life, 1880, i, 147. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

14. To GEORGE CUMBERLAND 2 July 1800 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr Cumberland, Bishopsgate, Windsor Great Park. 
DATED: 13 Hercules Buildings, Lambeth. 2 July, 1800. 
A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 


Sold at Sotheby's, n April 1893. Afterwards In the collection of 
Charles Fairfax Murray, sold at Sotheby's, 5 February 1920 (lot 18). 
Offered by Messrs. Maggs in their catalogue no. 433, Dec. 1922, for 
78, and again in no. 449, April 1924. Sold by the American Art 
Association, Anderson Galleries, 25 May 1938 (lot 73). Now in the 
Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, 

PRINTED: Extracts were given in the sale catalogue of 1893, and these 
were reprinted in Russell, Letters, 1906, pp. 69-70. Printed in full 
by Ellis in The Real Blake, 1907, p. 206. Copied by me from the 
original MS in 1912 and printed in my Bibliography of Blake, 1921, 
p. 447; also in Writings, 1925, ii, 180; Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 839. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

15. To JOHN FLAXMAN 12 September 1800 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr. Flaxman, Buckingham Street, Fitzroy Square, 
Postmark: 12 o'clock 12 Sp. 1800. 

A double leaf, 4, written on both sides of the first leaf. 

Formerly in the collection of B. B. Macgeorge of Glasgow, sold at 

Sotheby's, i July 1924 (lot 134, Sawyer, 55). Not traced. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 70; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii. 182; 

Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 840. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS (transcribed in 1924). 

16. To MRS. ANNA FLAXMAN 14 September 1800 
From Mrs Blake to Mrs Flaxman, in Blake's hand. 

DATED: H. B., Lambeth, 14 Sept r - 1800; with Blake's poem, "To my 

dear Friend, Mrs Anna Flaxman". 

Formerly in the possession of Mrs. Flaxman's sister, Maria Denman, 

from whom Gilchrist obtained a copy. Now in The Pierpont Morgan 


PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 147; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 72; 

E. V. Lucas, The Second Post, [1910], p. 97; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 

ii, 184; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 841. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

17. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 16 September 1800 
A single leaf, 4, with portrait, both inlaid. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 3, Webster, 2 17*.). Sold 

again with the collection of Louis J. Haber, Part III, at the Anderson 

Galleries, New York, 9 Dec. 1909 (lot 47, G. PL Richmond, $55.00). 

Now in the H. E. Huntington Library, California. 

PRINTED, EXTRACTS ONLY: Sale catalogue, 1878; Gilchrist, Life, 1880, 

i, 148 (two sentences only); Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 185; Keynes, 

Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 843. 

IN FULL: William Blake by Mark Schorer, New York, 1946, p. 18. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. Reproduced here, facing p. 50. 

18. To JOHN FLAXMAN 21 September 1800 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr Flaxman, Buckingham Street, Fitzroy Square, 


DATED: Felpham, Sep r 21, 1800, Sunday Morning. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Given by Flaxman to John Thomas Smith (see Nollekens and his 

Times, 1828, ii, 463). Afterwards in the collection of Charles Fairfax 

Murray, sold en bloc at Sotheby's, 5 Feb. 1920 (lot 19). Offered by 

Messrs. Maggs Bros, in cat. 425, June 1922 (85). Now in the 

collection of Mr. Chauncey Brewster Tinker, New Haven, Conn. 

PRINTED: Nottekens and his Times, 1828, ii, 464; Gilchrist's Life, 1880, 

i, 149; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 74; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 186; 

Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 843. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS, and photographic facsimile of third 


19. To THOMAS BUTTS 23 September 1800 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr Butts, G*- Marlborough Street near Oxford 
Street London. ENDORSED: M r Blake. His Account & Correspon- 
Postmark DATED: Sep. 23, 1800. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. Wmk, : a shield surmounted 
by a crown. 

From the Butts collection. Acquired from Captain Butts about 1906 
by the late W. Graham Robertson and bequeathed by him to his 
executor, Mr. Kerrison Preston. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 151 (second half only); Russell, 
Letters, 1906, p. 77; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 187; Keynes, Letters 
to Butts, 1926, facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 844. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS, and photographic facsimile. 

20. THOMAS BUTTS to BLAKE end of September 1800 

Rough draft of letter with erasures and alterations. 
HEADED: Marlborough Street (no date). 

On a double leaf., 4, written on three sides. Wmk.: a fleur-de-lys, 

History as for no 19. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 79 (extracts); Keynes, Letters to 
Butts, 1926; Mona Wilson, Life, 1927, p. 128. 


21. To THOMAS BUTTS 2 October 1800 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr Butts, Great Marlborough Street. 

DATED: Felpham Oct r 2 d 1800. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. Wmk.: 1798. 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 152; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 81; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 189; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 
facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 845. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 

22. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 26 November 1800 

DATED: Felpham, 26 November, 1800. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 33, Quaritch, 3 145.). Not 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 163; Century Guild Hobby Horse, 1886, 
i, 159; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 85; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 192; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 848. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

23. [? To JOHN FLAXMAN] [? c, 1800] 

Probably not dated or addressed, A single leaf, 8. 

Sold with the collection of H. V. Morten at Sotheby's, 5 May 1890 
(lot 22, Ellis, 2 gns.). Not traced. 

PRINTED, EXTRACTS ONLY: Sale catalogue, 1890; Keynes, Writings, 
1925, ii, 193; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 849. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Sale catalogue, 1890. 


24. To THOMAS BUTTS 10 May x8oi 
DATED: Felpham, May 10, 1801. 

A single leaf, 4, written on both sides. The other half missing. 
Wmk.: maker's device and monogram. 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 164; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 88; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 195; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 
facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1 939, p. 850. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 

25. To THOMAS BUTTS 11 September 1801 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr. Butts, Great Marlborough Street, London. 

DATED: Felpham Cottage of Cottages the prettiest September u, 

A double leaf, f, written on three sides. Wmk. 3 first leaf: shield 
surmounted by a crown; second leaf: F HAYES/i 798. 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 167; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 90 
(printed in error as two letters); Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 196; 
Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 
*939> P- 8 5- 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 

26. JOHN FLAXMAN to BLAKE 7 October 1801 

On the third page of a letter to William Hayley, dated 7 October 

Sold at Sotheby's with a series of seventeen letters from Flaxman to 
Hayley, 8 Nov. 1927 (lot 289). Offered by Messrs. Maggs in their 
catalogue 544, June 1930, for 12 IDS. Later in the possession of 
A. N. L. Munby, from whom it passed to the Fitzwilliam Museum, 
Cambridge, 1949. 

PRINTED: by Messrs. Sotheby and Maggs in their catalogues, and in 
Thomas Wright's Life of W. B., 1929, ii, 184. 

27. To JOHN FLAXMAN 19 October 1801 

ADDRESSED: To M r Flaxman, Sculptor, Buckingham Street, Fitzroy 
Square, London. 

DATED: Oct 19 1801 

A single leaf, 4. A postscript has been added by Hayley. 


Formerly in the collection of William Harris Arnold, sold at the 
Anderson Galleries, New York, 1924 (lot 53). Now in the Alice 
Bemis Taylor Collection, Taylor Museum of the Colorado Springs 
Fine Arts Centre, Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 95; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 198; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose , 1939, p. 852. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

28. To THOMAS BUTTS 10 January 1802 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr. Butts, Great Marlborough Street, Oxford Street, 

DATED: Felpham, Jan^ 10, 1802. 

A double leaf, 4, written on four sides. Wmk.: A BLACKWELL 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 172; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 96; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 199; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 
facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 853. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 

29. To THOMAS BUTTS 22 November 1802 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr. Butts, Gr Marlborough Street. 

DATED: Felpham, Nov r 22, 1802. 

A double leaf, 4, written on four sides. Wmk.: F HAYES/1798. 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 178; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 102; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 202; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 
facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 856. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 

30. To THOMAS BUTTS [22 November 1802] 
Not addressed or dated. 

A single leaf, 4, written on two sides, the other half missing. Wmk.: 
large maker's device. 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 181; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 107; 
Keynes, Writings^ 1925, ii, 206; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 
facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 859. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile, 


31. To JAMES BLAKE 30 January 1803 
Not addressed. 

DATED: Felpham, January 30, 1803. 

A double leaf, f , written on four sides. Each half of the leaf is now 
mounted separately on a guard and they are bound together in a 
morocco volume by Sangorski and SutclifFe, with a manuscript 
title-page, and a typescript of the letter at the end. 
From the Morrison collection. Sold at Hodgson's, 21 March 1917 
(lot 168, Dobell, 31). Afterwards acquired by Messrs. Maggs and 
sold by them to Lt.-Col. W, E. Moss. Sold with the Moss collection 
at Sotheby's, 2 March 1937 (lot 281, Rosenbach, 150). Now in 
the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Library of Congress, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 449; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 
ii, 239; Mona Wilson, Life, 1927, p. 140; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 
1939, p. 862. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

32. To THOMAS BUTTS 25 April, 1803 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr. Butts, Gr* Marlborough Street. 

DATED: Felpham, April 25, 1803. 

A double leaf, 4, written on four sides. Wmk.: A BLACK- 


History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 184; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 113; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 242; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 
facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 865. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 

33. To THOMAS BUTTS 6 July 1803 
Not addressed. 

DATED: Felpham, July 6, 1803. 

A double leaf, 4, written on four sides. Wmk.: A BLACK- 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 186; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 117; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 245; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 
facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 867. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 



A contemporary manuscript, presumably taken down at Scofield's 


Preserved as a copy (so marked) on the first recto of a double folio 

sheet, with a copy of Blake's refutation. 

Formerly in the possession of H. Buxton Forman. Sold with the 

second portion of the Buxton Forman Library, Anderson Galleries, 

New York, April 1 920 (in lot 64, $17). Acquired by Alan R. Brown, 

and given by him to Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1940. 

PRINTED: Nicoll and Wise, Literary Anecdotes of the Nineteenth Century, 

1895, * 5- M na Wilson, Life, 1927, p. 147. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

35. To THOMAS BUTTS 1 6 August 1803 
ADDRESSED TO: M r Butts, Gr Maryborough S*, London 

DATED: Felpham, August 16, 1803. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. Wmk.: F HAYES/ 1798. 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 190; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 124; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 248; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, 

facsimile; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 870. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photographic facsimile. 

36. To THOMAS BUTTS July 8-August 20, 1803 
An Account between Blake and Thomas Butts written in Blake's 
hand, amounting to 14 14^. for eleven drawings, including "The 
Three Maries", delivered on July 8 and August 20, 1803. 

From the Butts collection. Sold at Sotheby's, 24 June 1903 (lot 23, 
J. Mason, 3 5^)- Not traced. 
Not yet printed. 

37. MEMORANDUM BY BLAKE August 1803 
Blake's memorandum in refutation of John Scofield, presumably in 
Blake's own hand, and intended for the use of his counsel, Samuel 

Preserved as a copy on the second to fourth sides of a double folio 
sheet, with Scofield's "Information", q.v. 

PRINTED: Nicoll and Wise, Literary Anecdotes of the Nineteenth Century, 


> i> 7; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 252; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 
i939> P- 874- 
SOURGE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

38. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 19 September 1803 
Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 4, Naylor, 2 ia*.). Not traced. 
PRINTED, EXTRACTS ONLY: Sale catalogue, 1878; Keynes, Writings, 
1925, ii, 255; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 876. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Sale Catalogue, 1878. 

39. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 7 October 1803 
ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 

DATED: London, October 7, 1803. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 5, Webster, 4 gns.). In the 

R. B. Adam Collection, Buffalo, N.Y., now on deposit at the Rush 

Rhees Library, University of Rochester, N. Y. 

PRINTED: R. B. Adam, Christmas, 1929, facsimile; Keynes, Poetry 

and Prose, 1939, p. 876. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photographic facsimile. 

40. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 26 October 1803 

DATED: South Molton Street, 26 October, 1803. Signed: W. and 
C. Blake. 

Sold at Sotheby's together with letter no. 58, 20 May 1878 (lot 32, 
Quaritch, 3). Not traced. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 194; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 130; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 256; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 878. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

41. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 13 December 1803 

ADDRESSED TO: William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Bognor, 

DATED: Tuesday night, 13 Dec r , 1803. 


A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 8, Naylor, 2 js.). Now in the 
library of the Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine, U.S.A. 

PRINTED: Brief extracts in the sale catalogue, 1878; Keynes, Writings, 
1925, ii, 257; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 879. Now printed in 
full for the first time. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

42. SPEECH OF COUNSELLOR ROSE 11 January 1804 

Delivered by Samuel Rose in Blake's defence at his trial at Chichester 

Preserved as a copy on four quarto leaves, marked at the top "taken 
in short hand by the Revd Mr Youatt". 

Formerly in the possession of H. Buxton Forman. Sold with the 
second portion of the Buxton Forman Library at the Anderson 
Galleries, New York, April 1920 (in lot 64, $17). Acquired by 
Alan R. Brown, and given by him to Trinity College, Hartford, 
Conn., in 1940. 

PRINTED: Nicoll and Wise, Literary Anecdotes of the Nineteenth Century, 
1895,1, 11. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

43. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 14 January 1804 

ADDRESSED: William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 

DATED: London, Jan^ 14, 1804. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 9, Naylor, 2 15^.)- I* was m 

the Rowfant Library in 1886 in an album of ALS. Bought by Dodd 

Mead & Co., New York. Acquired in 1953 by Harvard College 


PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 199; Russell, Letters, 1906, p, 137; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 258; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

p. 880. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

44. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 27 January 1804 
ADDRESSED TO: William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 


DATED: Sth Molton Street, Friday Jan^ 27, 1804. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 10, Naylor, 5). It was in the 

Rowfant Library in 1886, in an album of ALS. Bought by Dodd 

Mead & Co., New York. Acquired in 1953 by Harvard College 


PRINTED: Gilchrist, Lift, 1880, i, 201; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 139; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 259; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

p. 881. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

45. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 23 February 1804 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re . 
DATED: S tlx Molton Street, 23 Feb^, 1804. 
A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot u, Quaritch, 4 gns.). Pur- 
chased from Quaritch for the BM 15 June 1878. Add. MSS 30262, 
f. 86. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 203; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 142; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 261; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 882. 

46. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 12 March 1804 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 


DATED: March 12, 1804. 

A single leaf, 4. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 7, Waller, 2 15^.)- Afterwards 

in the collection of Joseph Mayer of Liverpool. Sold at Sotheby's, 

19 July 1887 (in lot 189, Robson, 10 5^). Later in the collection 

of H. Buxton Forman, and sold with his library at the Anderson 

Galleries, New York, 15 March 1920 (lot 69). In 1925 in the 

possession of Arthur F. Egner, New Jersey, U.S.A. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 205; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 146; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 263; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 884. 
SOURCE or TEXT: Photostat. 


47. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 16 March 1804 
ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re 

DATED: 16 March, 1804. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 12, Naylor, 3 gns.). In 1886 in 
the possession of "Mr. Shepherd, 46 Pall Mall", by whom it was lent 
to Mr. William Muir. Afterwards in the collection of Charles Fair- 
fax Murray, sold at Sotheby's, 5 Feb. 1920 (lot 20). Offered by 
Messrs. Maggs Bros, in their cat. no. 433, Dec. 1922, for 52. Now 
in The Pierpont Morgan Library. 

PRINTED: Appended to Muir's Milton, 1886, in facsimile; Keynes, 
Bibliography, 1921, p. 451; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 264; Keynes, 
Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 885. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

48. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 21 March 1804 
ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re , Felpham. 

DATED: Sth Molton Street, March 21, 1804. 
A double leaf, 4, written on two sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 13, Naylor, 3 5^.). Now in 
the Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 

PRINTED: Now printed in full for the first time. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

49. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 31 March 1804 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Ghichester, 

DATED: S th Molton St, March 31, 1804. 

A single leaf, 4. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878, together with letter no. 50 (lot 14, 

Waller, 4). Sold again at Sotheby's in the collection of Joseph 

Mayer of Liverpool, 19 July 1887 (in lot 189, Robson, 10 5*.). 

Afterwards in the collection of H. Buxton Forman, and sold with his 

library at the Anderson Galleries, New York, 1 5 March 1 920 (lot 70) . 

Acquired by Allan R. Brown, and given by him to Trinity College, 

Hartford, Conn., in 1940. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 230; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 

266; Keynes, Poetry and Prose ^ 1939, p. 886. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

L.W.B. P 225 

50. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 2 April 1804 
Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878, together with letter no. 49 (lot 14, 
Waller, 4). Not traced. 

PRINTED, WITHOUT THE BEGINNING! Gilchrist, Life, l88o, 1, 205; 

Russell, Letters, igo6 v p. 147; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 267; Keynes, 

Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 887. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

51. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 7 April 1804 
ADDRESSED TO: William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 

DATED: Sth Molton Street, April 7, 1804. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 15, Naylor, 2 IQS.). It was in 

the Rowfant Library in 1886, in an album of ALS. Bought by Dodd 

Mead & Co., New York. Acquired in 1953 by Harvard College 


PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 207; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 148; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 268; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

p. 888. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

52. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 27 April 1804 
ADDRESSED TO: William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 16, Waller, 2 ios.}. Sold 
again at Sotheby's in the collection of Joseph Mayer of Liverpool, 
19 July 1887 (in lot 189, Robson, 10 5^.). Afterwards in the col- 
lection of H. Buxton Forman, and sold with his library at the 
Anderson Galleries, New York, 15 March 1920 (lot 71). Not traced. 
PRINTED: Gilchrist, Lift, 1880, i, 207; Russell, Letters, 1906, p, 150; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 269; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 889. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

53. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 4 May 1804 
Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides, 


Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 17, Quaritch, 4). Not traced. 
PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 209; Russell, Letters,, 1906, p. 152; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 270; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 890. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

54. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 28 May 1804 

Presumably addressed and dated as above. 
A double leaf, 4, written on four sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 18, Quaritch, 5 ios.). Not 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 210; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 156; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 273; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

P- 892. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. (Wrongly dated 24 May 


55. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 22 June 1804 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 

DATED: Sth Molton Street, 22 June, 1804. 
A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 20, Weston, 4 gns.). Now in 
The Pierpont Morgan Library. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 162; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 
277; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 895. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

56. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 16 July 1804 

Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 31, Naylor, 3 is.). Not traced. 

PRINTED, EXTRACT ONLY: Sale catalogue, 1878; Keynes, Writings, 
1925, ii, 279; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 897. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Sale catalogue, 1878. 


57. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 7 August 1804 

Presumably addressed and dated as above. 
A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 22, Naylor, 3 loj.). Not 

PRINTED, EXTRACTS ONLY: Sale catalogue, 1878; Keynes, Writings, 
1925, ii, 279; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 897. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Sale catalogue, 1878. 

58. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 9 August 1804 

Presumably addressed and dated as above. 
Signed W. and G. Blake. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878, together with letter no. 40 (lot 32, 
Quaritch, 3). Not traced. 


59. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 28 September 1804 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re , Felpham. 
DATED: Sth Molton St, 28 Sept r , 1804. 
One and a quarter pp., 4. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 24, Waller, 2 13*.). Sold 
again at Sotheby's in the collection of Joseph Mayer of Liverpool, 
19 July 1887 (in lot 189, Robson, 10 y.). Afterwards in the col- 
lection of H. Buxton Forman, and sold with his library at the 
Anderson Galleries, New York, 15 March 1920 (lot 72). In 1927 
in the collection of the late George G. Smith, jr., and sold at the 
Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 2 Nov. 1938 (lot 6, Rosenbach, 
$325.00). Now in the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Library of 
Congress, Washington, D.C. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 214; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 166 
(both under the erroneous date, September 20, 1804); Keynes, 
Writings, 1925, ii, 280; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 897. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

60. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 23 October !8o 4 

Presumably addressed and dated as above. 
A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 


Sold, at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 23, Quaritch, 6 14*.). Not 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 215; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 168; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 281; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 899. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

61. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 4 December 1804 
DATED: London, Dec. 4, 1804. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 26, Naylor, 4), and at the 
Anderson Galleries, New York, 16 May 1914 ($275.00). Not traced. 

PRINTED, EXTRACTS ONLY: Sale catalogue, 1878; Keynes, Writings, 
1925, ii, 284; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 900. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Sale catalogue, 1878. 

62. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 18 December 1804 
Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 27, Quaritch, 5 ioj.). Not 


PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 218; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 172; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 284; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

p. 901. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

63. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 28 December 1804 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley, Esq re , Felpham, near Chichester, 

DATED: Sth Molton Street, 28 Dec r 1804. 
A double leaf, 4, written on four sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 28, Naylor, 7 io.y.). In 1891 
in the possession of Ferdinand J. Dreer, Philadelphia. Now in the 
library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 

PRINTED: Boston Museum Catalogue, 1891, p. 43; Russell, Letters, 
1906, p. 174; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 286; Keynes, Poetry and 
Prose, 1939, p. 902. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


64. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 19 January 1805 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re . 

DATED: Sth Molton Street, 19 Jan^, 1805. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 29, Naylor, 3 i6j.)- Now in 

the Roberts Collection, Haverford College, Haverford, Pa. 

PRINTED: Now printed in full for the first time* 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

65. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 22 January 1805 
Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 30, Quaritch, 4 8s.). Not 


PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 219; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 178; 

Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 288; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

p. 904. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

66. To THOMAS BUTTS 22 January 1805 
Receipt for 12-12-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 8 X 20 cm. with embossed revenue 
stamp for fourpence at one end. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

67. To WILLIAM HAYLEY [postmark: 25 April 1805] 

ADDRESSED TO: William Hayley Esq re , Felpham, near Bognor, 

DATED: Friday. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 6, Naylor, 3 5^.). It was in 
the Rowfant Library in 1886 in an album of ALS. Bought by Dodd 
Meade & Co., New York. Acquired in 1953 by Harvard College 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 220; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 180; 


Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 290; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

P- 905- 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

68. To THOMAS BUTTS 12 May-3 March 1806 

Debtor and Creditor Account between Blake and Thomas Butts, 
partly in Blake's hand with his receipt. 

One sheet, 4, written on both sides, 15-6 X 18-9 cm,, with the receipt 
on a slip of paper 17-8 X 20 cm., attached by a wafer. 

History as for no. 19. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, ii, 278; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 
298; Keynes, Letters to Butts, 1926, facsimile. 


69. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 17 May 1805 
Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

A double leaf, written on three sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 25, Quaritch, 5 gns.). Not 

PRINTED, EXTRACTS ONLY: Sale catalogue, 1878; Keynes, Writings , 
1925, ii, 292; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 907. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Sale catalogue, 1878. 

70. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 4 June 1805 
Presumably addressed and dated as above. 

A single leaf, f, written on both sides. 

Sold at Sotheby's, 20 May 1878 (lot 31, Quaritch, 3 15^.). Not 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 222; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 184; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 293; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

P- 97- 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Gilchrist's Life, 1880. 

71. To THOMAS BUTTS 5 July 1805 
Receipt for 5. 7. o. in Butts' hand with Blake's signature. 
DATED: July 5, 1805. 

From the Butts collection, acquired from Captain Butts about 1906 


by the late W. Graham Robertson. Given by Robertson at a date 
unknown to the late A. E. Newton who inserted it in his copy of 
Keynes's Bibliography of Blake, 1921. This book was sold with the 
Newton library at the Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 1 7 April 
1941 (lot 173, $75.00). 

PRINTED: The text given here is conjectural as I have not seen the 
original for some years, but it is no doubt approximately correct. 

72. To THOMAS BUTTS 7 September 1805 

Receipt for 4-4-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-5 X 19 cm. with embossed revenue 
stamp for fourpence at one end. 

DATED: 7: Sep* 1805 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

73. To WILLIAM HAYLEY 27 November 1805 

ADDRESSED: To Mr Hayley. 

DATED: 27 Nov r - 1805. 

A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Formerly in the collection of Robert Hoe, and sold with his library 
at the Anderson Galleries, New York, 25 April 1911 (lot 397, 
$180.00). Afterwards in the collection of Miss Amy Lowell, and 
bequeathed by her to the Harvard College Library, Cambridge, 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 453; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 
ii, 294; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 908. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

74. To WILLIAM HAYLEY n December 1805 

ADDRESSED: To William Hayley Esq re , Felpham near Chichester, 

DATED: Sth Molton Street, Decemb r 11, 1805. 
A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

In 1893 in the possession of Mr. Daniel. Sold at Sotheby's, anon, sale, 
28 July 1899 ( lot 262, Thomas, 5 gns.). Sold at Hodgson's 22 June 
1922 (lot 272, Edwards, 20 ios.). Afterwards in the collection of 


A. E. Newton (but not sold with his library in 1940). Now in the 
possession of Caroline Newton. 

PRINTED: Ellis and Yeats, Works, 1893, i, 172; Russell, Letters , 1906, 
p. 187; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 295; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 909. Now first printed accurately. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

75. To RICHARD PHILLIPS June 1806 
ADDRESSED: To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. 

Original MS not known to have survived. 

PRINTED: The Monthly Magazine, pt. I, July 1806, xxi, 520; Swin- 
burne, Critical Essay, 1868, p. 62; Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 258; Russell, 
Letters, 1906, p. 90; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 300; Keynes, Poetry 
and Prose, 1939, p. 911. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Monthly Magazine, 1806. 

76. To THOMAS BUTTS 30 June 1806 

Receipt for 21-10-0 on account in Butts' hand with Blake's sig- 
nature. On a slip of paper 7*5 X 18-5 cm., with embossed revenue 
stamp for eightpence at one end. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

77. To THOMAS BUTTS 9 September 1806 
Receipt for 6-6-0 in Butts' hand with Blake's signature. 
DATED: 9 Sept r 1806 

From the Butts collection. Separated at some unknown date from 
the other similar receipts in this collection. In 1942 in the possession 
of Mr. Ruthven Todd. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist's Life of Blake, ed. Todd, 1942, p. 376. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: As above. 

78. To THOMAS BUTTS 15 October 1806 
Receipt for 5-5-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-7 X 18-6 cm., with embossed revenue 
stamp for twopence at one end. 


DATED: 15: Octo r 1806 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

79. To THOMAS BUTTS 29 January 1807 

Receipt for 21 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper with embossed revenue stamp at one 

DATED: 29 Janry 1807. 

From the Butts collection. It was reproduced in an article 1 in The 
Connoisseur, vol. XIX, 1907, pp. 92-96, by Ada E. Briggs, sister-in- 
law of Captain Butts, and was presumably then in her possession. 

PRINTED: Reproduced in facsimile in The Connoisseur (see above). 
SOURCE OF TEXT: As above. 

80. To THOMAS BUTTS 3 March 1807 

Receipt for "28-6-0 on account, wholly in Blake's hand with his 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-4 X 18-8 cm., with embossed revenue 
stamp for eightpence at one end. 

DATED: March 3 1807. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

81. R. H. CROMEK to BLAKE May 1807 

DATED: 64 Newman Street, May, 1807 

After Blake's death it came into the possession of Allan Cunningham, 
and from him passed to his son, Peter Cunningham, by whom it was 
published in 1852. 

PRINTED: Gentleman's Magazine, Feb. 1852; Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 
252; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 193; Mona Wilson, Life, 1927, p. 190. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Gentleman's Magazine, 1852. 

1 This article mentions twenty-nine receipts in the Butts collection, but 
only twenty-eight from this source are at present known to" me. 


82. To THOMAS BUTTS 2 June 1807 
Receipt for 12-1-6 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7*8x18*7 cm., with an embossed 
revenue stamp for twopence at one end. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

83. To THOMAS BUTTS 13 July 1807 
Receipt for 15-15-0 on further account in Butts* hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 8-5X21 cm., with embossed revenue 
stamp for fourpence at one end. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

84. To THOMAS BUTTS 6 October 1807 
Receipt for 10-10-0 on further account, in Butts' hand with 
Blake's signature. On a slip of paper 8*4X21 cm., with embossed 
revenue stamp for fourpence at one end. 

DATED: 6: Octo r 1807. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

85. To RICHARD PHILLIPS 14 October 1807 
ADDRESSED TO: Richard Phillips Esq r N 6 Bridge Street, Black Friars. 
DATED: Oct 14, 17 S th Molton S*. 

A double leaf, 4, written on two sides. Endorsed by the recipient: 

W. B. Rec d Oct r 27 th 1807. With Mr P.'s Comps. 

Now in the Boston Public Library. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 197; Keynes, Writings, 1925, ii, 

304; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 912. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


86. To THOMAS BUTTS 14 January 1808 
Receipt for ^2 6-50 on further account, in Butts' hand with Mrs. 
Blake's signature. On a slip of paper 7*7 X 19-5 cm., with embossed 
revenue stamp for twopence at one end. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

87. To OZIAS HUMPHRY [first draft A] 1 8 January 1808 
HEADED: To Ozias Humphry Esq re - 

DATED: 1 8 January 1808. 

A double leaf, 4, gilt edges, written on four sides. Size 22 X 18-5 cm. 
Wmk.: IVY MILL 1806. 

This manifesto was quoted by J. R. Smith in 1829 in Nollekens and 
his Times, Smith probably having obtained it from William Upcott, 
the recipient's son. An inscription on the second version shows that 
Humphry possessed them both. There is nothing to show who owned 
this one after 1829 unt il it was offered for sale by Thomas Thorp in 
1837 for 15^. It was afterwards in the collection of Major C. H. 
Simpson of Bath, sold at Sotheby's, 15 March 1916 (lot 33, G. D. 
Smith, 51). Acquired by Mr. Oliver R. Barrett, Chicago, and 
now in the possession of his son, Mr. Roger W. Barrett, Kenilworth, 

PRINTED: J. R. Smith, Nollekens and his Times, 1829, i^ 4^ 2 * Now 
first accurately printed. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

88. To OZIAS HUMPHRY [first draft B] 18 January 1808 

HEADED: [To Ozias Humphrey Esq r del.] To Ozias Humphrey Esq. 
B.A. [in another hand"]. 

DATED: 1 8 January 1808. 

A double leaf, 4, remargined and mounted on gauze, written on 
four sides. Size 22 x 18-5 cm. Wmk.: IVY MILL 1806. 
This document is a duplicate of no. 87 with a few changes and bears 
the same date. The chief variations are printed in italic in square 
brackets in the text printed on pp. 165-7. It is difficult to say 
which version was written first, but probably this draft was sent with 
the picture to Petworth House. It was unknown until it was dis- 
covered there in a cupboard by Mr. John Wyndham and Miss 


Beatrice Harris in 1952. It is now first described by courtesy of the 



89. To OZIAS HUMPHRY [second draft] February 1808 

HEADED: To Ozias Humphry Esq re - 
DATED: Feb^ 1808. 

A double leaf, 4, gilt edges, written on four sides. Size 22 X 18-5 cm. 
Wmk.: IVY MILL 1806. 

This second version of the description of The Last Judgment was given 
to the Earl of Buchan by Humphry after he became blind. Humphry 
inscribed it below Blake's signature: "The Earl of Buchan Of this 
duplicate paper w ch I have the Honor to inclose I have not been able 
to read a single Line. O. H." Some of the Earl of Buchan's papers 
came into the possession of William Upcott, whose collection, sold 
at Sotheby's in June 1846, included (lot 28) a "large parcel" of The 
Earl's miscellaneous correspondence. This letter may well have been 
among them. At the bottom of the second page it is inscribed "Dec 
1862". This probably refers to its sale at Puttick's on 19 Dec. 1862. 
In 1863, when it was quoted by Gilchrist, 1 it was "in the possession 
of Mr. (J. H.) Anderdon". The next dated inscription is at the 
bottom of the fourth page: "Waller 5/5/- 1880". This probably 
indicates its purchase from Waller by Henry Cunliffe, after whose 
death it passed to his great-nephew, Lord Gunliffe, the present owner. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 260; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 198; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 2; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 913. 
Now first accurately printed. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

90. To THOMAS BUTTS 29 February 1808 

Receipt for 10 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-8 X 17-9 cm. No revenue stamp. 

DATED: 29 Febry 1808. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

1 Gilchrist mentions that it was obtained by J. R. Smith from Upcott, 
but this was assumed by Gilchrist, not stated by Smith. Gilchrist did not 
notice that Smith had quoted a different version. 


91. To THOMAS BUTTS 29 July 1808 
Recept for 10 on further account in Butts 5 hand with Blake's sig- 
nature. On a slip of paper 8x19*7 cm., with embossed revenue 
stamp for twopence at one end. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

92. To THOMAS BUTTS 3 November 1808 
Receipt for 5-5-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-7 X 19 cm., with embossed revenue 
stamp for twopence at one end. 

DATED: 3 Novem r 1808. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

93. To THOMAS BUTTS 7 December 1808 

Receipt for 5-5-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-6 X 18*5 cm., with embossed revenue 
stamp for twopence at one end. 

DATED: 7 Dec r 1808. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

94. GEORGE CUMBERLAND to BLAKE 18 December 1808 

ADDRESSED: G. Cumberland Esq r Jun r , N.64 Newman Street, 
Oxford Street, London. 

DATED: Culworth, i8th December 1808. 

Now in the British Museum, Add. MSS 36501, f. 312, among the 
Cumberland Correspondence. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters^ 1906, p. 203. 

Cumberland wrote this letter with a message to his son: "Dear 
George, Go on receit of this to Black Friars & when you have been 
to Sir R. Phillips to know if he got my 24 Pages of Biography sent 


by Fromonts Coach carriage Paid & booked on Wednesday last 
take the above to Mr Blake and get him to answer it directly on the 
sheet of Paper on which you write your answer as to the receit of 
the Biography of Grignon ... G. C." 


95. To GEORGE CUMBERLAND 19 December 1808 

ADDRESSED TO: George Cumberland. 

DATED: igth December, 1808. 

A single leaf, 4, written on both sides. 

Now in the British Museum, Add. MSS 36501, f. 314, among the 
Cumberland Correspondence. 

PRINTED: Hampstead Annual, 1903, pp. 54-69; Russell, Letters, 1906, 
p. 205; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 87; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 

P- 9*5- 


96. To OZIAS HUMPHRY [c. 1809] 

ADDRESSED TO: Ozias Humphrey Esq re . 
Not dated. A double leaf, 4, written on two sides. 
From the collection of C. J. Toovey. Sold at Sotheby's, 25 April 
1912 (lot 10). Offered for sale by Messrs. Maggs Bros, in July 1912 
(cat. 293, 35). Sold by the American Art Association, New York, 
on 1 6 April 1923 (lot 128, $125.00). Acquired by Alan R. Brown, 
and given by him to Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1940. 
PRINTED: An extract in Messrs. Magg's catalogue, with a facsimile. 
In full, Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 454; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 
iii, 123; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 915. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

97. To THOMAS BUTTS 7 A P ri * l8 9 

Receipt for 21 on further account in Butts* hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 8 X 20-4 cm. No revenue stamp. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 


98. To THOMAS BUTTS 10 July 1809 
Receipt for 10-10-0 on further account, in Butts' hand with 
Blake's signature. On a slip of paper 17-8x19-3 cm. No revenue 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

99. To THOMAS BUTTS 10 August 1809 
Receipt for 10-10-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-5 X 17-8 cm. No revenue stamp. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

100. To THOMAS BUTTS 4 October 1809 

Receipt for 10-10-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-6 X 1 8-6 cm. No revenue stamp. 

DATED: 4 Octo r 1809. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

102. To THOMAS BUTTS 25 November 1809 

Receipt for 20 on further account, in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 8 X 18*5 cm. 

DATED: 25 Nov r 1809. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

103. To THOMAS BUTTS 16 January 1810 

Receipt for 21 on further account in Butts* hand with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 7*5 xai-i cm. 


DATED: 16 Janry 1810. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

104. To THOMAS BUTTS 3 March 1810 

Receipt for 10-10 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 8 X 19-8 cm. 

DATED: 3 March 1810. 
History as in no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

105. To THOMAS BUTTS 14 April 1810 

Receipt for 21 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 7-6 x 18-3 cm. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

106. To THOMAS BUTTS 30 June 1810 
Receipt for 5-5-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 7-6 X 18-5 cm. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

107. To THOMAS BUTTS 14 July 1810 
Receipt for 15-15-0 on further account in Butts' hand with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 6-6 X 18-5 cm. 

DATED: As above. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

L.W.B. Q, 241 

108. To THOMAS BUTTS 20 September 1810 
Receipt for 10-10-0 on further account in Butts 5 hand with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 7*4 X 19*5 cm. 

DATED: 20 Sept r 1810. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

109. To THOMAS BUTTS 18 December 1810 
Receipt for 10-10-0 on further account in Butts' hand, with Blake's 
signature. No revenue stamp. On a slip of paper 7-8 X 16 cm. 

DATED: 18 Dec r 1810. 
History as for no. 19. 
PRINTED: Now first printed in full. 

110. JOSIAH WEDGWOOD to BLAKE 29 July 1815 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr Blake, 17 South Molton St. 

DATED : Etruria, 29 July, 1815. 

A copy is in the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Times Literary Supplement., 9 Dec. 1926; Keynes, 

Blake Studies, London, 1949, p. 71. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photostat, 

111. To JOSIAH WEDGWOOD 8 September 1815 
ADDRESSED: To Josiah Wedgwood Esq re . 

DATED: 17 South Molton Street, 8 Septemb r , 1815 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

Now in the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Times Literary Supplement, 9 December, 1926; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 916. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photostat. 

112. To DAWSON TURNER 9 June, 1818 
ADDRESSED: To Dawson Turner Esq re , Yarmouth, Norfolk. 
DATED: 9 June, 1818, 17 South Molton Street. 


A double leaf, 4, written on three sides. 

Sold with the Dawson Turner collection of MSS at Puttick and 

Simpson's, 6 June 1859. It was in the collection of W. A. White 

in 1921. Now in the possession A. S. W. Rosenbach Collection, 


PRINTED: Grolier Club Catalogue, 1905, p. 136; Russell, Letters, 
1906, p. 207; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 321; Keynes, Poetry and 
Prose, 1939, p. 916. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 



Two leaves, 4, headed as on p. 179. 

Not dated, but the order of the plates as in this Index was followed 
only in one copy of the Songs 9 which is printed on paper with a 
watermark dated 1818 (see Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 126). 

Formerly bound with a MS copy of Cunningham's Life of Blake. 
Afterwards in the possession of William Muir. Now in the Leasing 
J. Rosenwald collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 

PRINTED: In facsimile, with Muir's edition of The Marriage of Heaven 
and Hell, 1885. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Muir's facsimile. Photostat. 

114. To JOHN LINNELL 12 August 1818 
Receipt for 2 on account in Blake's hand with his signature. On 
a slip of paper 4x17 cm. 

Formerly in the Linnell collection. Sold at Christie's 2 Dec. 1938 
(in lot 62, Robinson, 78 15^.). Presented to Yale University 
Library by Mr. Otis T. Bradley in 1942. 

PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

115-117. To JOHN LINNELL 19 September~3i December 1818 
Three receipts for laying in the engraving of Mr. Upton's portrait, 
all in Blake's hand, two with signatures. On three slips of paper 
8-5 X 14, 7-5 X 18-5, 6-5 X 16-5 cm. 
History as for no. 114. 
PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

118. To JOHN LINNELL 27 August 1819 

Receipt for Songs of Innocence and Experience in Blake's hand with 
signature. On a slip of paper 11X18-5 cm. 
History as for no. 114. 
PRINTED: Now first printed, 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

119. To JOHN LINNELL [?] n October 1819 

Not addressed. 

DATED: Oct. 11, 1819, Monday Evening. 

A single leaf, 8, written on one side. 

In the possession of Mr. Goodspeed, bookseller, of Boston in 1925. 

Afterwards in the collection of the late George C. Smith, jr., and 

sold at the Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 2 Nov. 1938 (lot 7, 

Sessler, $45.00). Afterwards in the collection of Moncure Biddle, 

and sold by him at the Parke-Bernet Galleries, 29 April 1952 (lot 

117, Schwartz, $100.00). Now in the collection of Dr. E. Hanley, 

Bradford, Penn., U.S.A. 

PRINTED: Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 208; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 
353; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 918. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Original MS and photostat. 

120. To JOHN LINNELL 30 December 1819 

Receipt for Jerusalem Chap. 2, in Blake's hand with signature. On 
a slip of paper n X 18-5 cm. With a pencil note in the corner "2; 
to Father/Paid by Mr Varley/lent 1/6". 

History as for no. 114. 
PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

121. To JOHN LINNELL 30 April 1821 

Receipt for [Marriage of] Heaven and Hell. In Blake's hand with 
signature. On a slip of paper 7-5 X 18-5 cm. 

History as for no. 1 14. 
PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


122. To JOHN LINNELL x March x8 22 
Receipt for 3 on account. In Blake's hand with signature. On a 
slip of paper 7 x 18-5 cm. 

History as for no. 114. 
PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


25 March 1823 

Memorandum concerning the engraving of the set of plates of * 'Job's 
Captivity", with receipt for the first payment. In LinnelPs hand 
with signatures of both parties, and the receipt initialled by Blake. 
On a double leaf 18 X 1 1 cm. The front of the first leaf endorsed: 
Blake/Mem. &c, the verso marked "Blake". The memorandum is 
on the front of the second leaf, and the receipt on the verso. 
History as for no. 1 14. 

PRINTED: Story's Life ofLinnell, 1892, i, 169-70 (very inaccurately); 
Keynes, Times Literary Supplement) 9 January 1943, * n "New Blake- 
Linnell Documents"; Keynes, Blake Studies, 1949, P- J 37 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


March i823~November 1825 

Accounts for various payments for the Book of Job and other works. 
In LinnelPs hand with Blake's initials against each sum. On three 
loose leaves numbered 1-3 and written on both sides, each 
17-5x11-5 cm. 

History as for no. 1 14. 
PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


October 1823-1833 

LinnelPs account book giving the amounts paid by the subscribers 
to the Book of Job with their names, and at the end an "Account 
of Expenses", In marbled paper wrappers with label on the front. 
The verso of the first leaf is written by Blake, the rest of the book 
is in LinnelPs hand. Each leaf measures about 15 X 9 cm. 


History as for no. 114. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Times Literary Supplement, 9 January, 1943, in 
"New Blake-Linnell Documents", extracts. Also in Blake Studies, 
1949. Now first printed in full. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

126. To JOHN LINNELL [1825] 

ADDRESSED TO: J. Linnell Esq re , Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 

DATED: 12 o'clock Wednesday. 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

Formerly in the Linnell collection. Sold at Christie's, 15 March 

1918, with twelve others (lot 214, G. D. Smith, 80 gns.). Now in 

the H. E. Huntington Library, California. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 455; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 
iii, 367; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 918. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

127. To MRS. LINNELL 11 October, 1825 

ADDRESSED TO: Mrs Linnell, Collins's Farm, North End, Hampstead. 
DATED: Tuesday, n October, 1825. 
A double leaf, 4, written on one side. 
History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 337; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 
171; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 209; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 367; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 918. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

128. To JOHN LINNELL 10 November 1825 

ADDRESSED TO: John Linnell Esq re , Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
DATED: Thursday Evening, 10 Nov r , 1825, Fountain Court, Strand. 
A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 
History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 378; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 
232; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 210; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 368; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 918. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


129. To JOHN LINNELL i February 1826 

ADDRESSED: To John Linnell Esq re , N 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy 

DATED: Feb? i, 1826. Postmark dated: 31 January. 

A double leaf, 4, written on two sides. Wmk.: Ruse & Turner 1810. 

History as for no. 126 (lot 208 in the sale). 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 390; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 

232; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 211; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 368; 

Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 919. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

130. To MRS. LINNELL [? February 1826] 
ADDRESS missing. 

DATED: London, Sunday Morning. 

A double leaf, 4, written on one side. The leaf carrying the address 
has been torn off. 

History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 455; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 
iii, 370; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 920. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

131. To JOHN LINNELL [? 1826] 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr Linnell, 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
DATED: Tuesday Night. 

A single leaf, 8, written on one side. 
History as for no. 126. (lot 209 in the sale). 

PRINTED: Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 234; Russell, Letters, 1906, 
p. 213; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 370; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 
*939> P- 921. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

132. To JOHN LINNELL 31 March 1826 
ADDRESSED TO: John Linnell Esq re , Cirencester Place. 

DATED: Friday Evening, March 31, 1826. 

A single leaf, 8, written on one side. 

Emma W. Bucknell collection, sold by the American Art Association, 

New York, 2 April 1928 (lot 73, Gabriel Wells, $390). David M. 


Newbold Collection, sold by Henkel's, Philadelphia, 9 Oct. 1928 
(lot 339, 350) . Offered with the estate of Gabriel Wells for $350.00 
by Boesen, N.Y., March 1948. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, P- 9 2 * 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

133. To JOHN LINNELL 19 May 1826 

ADDRESSED: To John Linnell Esq re , N 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy 


DATED: Friday Evening, May 19, 1826. 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 392; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 214; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 371; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
p. 921. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

134. To JOHN LINNELL 2 July 1826 

ADDRESSED: To John Linnell Esq re , N 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy 

Postmark DATED: 2 July 1826. A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

Formerly in the Linnell collection. Sold at Christie's, 15 March 
1918 (lot 210, Dobell, 29 gns.). Now in the possession of Mrs. 
Edward L. Doheny. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 393; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 
235; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 215; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 372; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 922. 


135. To JOHN LINNELL 5 July 1826 
ADDRESSED TO: John Linnell Esq re , Cirencester Place. 

DATED: 5 July 1826. 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 394; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 
236; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 216; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 373; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 922. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


136. To JOHN LINNELL 14 July 1826 

Receipt for the copyright and plates of "the Book of Job". In Blake's 
hand, with signature of witness, Edw d - Jno. Chance. On a slip of 
paper 7*5 X 18-5 cm. 

History as for no. 1 14. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Times Literary Supplement, 9 Jan. 1943, in "New 
Blake-Linnell Documents"; Keynes, Blake Studies, 1949, p. 139, 
with facsimile, (Mentioned, but not printed in full, in Story's 
Life ofLinnell, 1892, i, 170.) 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

137. To JOHN LINNELL 16 July 1826 

ADDRESSED: To John Linnell Esq re , Girencester Place, Fitzroy 

DATED: Sunday afternoon, July 16, 1826. 
A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 
History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 394; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 
236; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 217; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 373; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 923. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

138. To JOHN LINNELL 29 July 1826 
ADDRESSED TO: M r Linnell, 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
DATED: 29 July 1826. 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

History for as no. 126. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 456; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 

iii, 374; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 923. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

139. To MRS. ADERS 29 July 1826 
Receipt for Songs of Innocence [and of Experience], in Blake's hand 
with signature. On a slip of paper 8 X 18-5 cm. 

History as for no. 1 14. 
PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

L.W.B. R 249 

140. To JOHN LINNELL i August 1826 
ADDRESSED: To Mr Linnell, Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
DATED: Aug 8t i. 1826. 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 395; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 

237; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 218; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 375; 

Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 924. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

141. To JOHN LINNELL 27 January 1827 
ADDRESSED TO: Mr Linnell, 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
DATED: Saturday Night, Jan? 27 1827. 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 456; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 

iii, 389; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 924. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

142. To JOHN LINNELL February 1827 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr Linnell, Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
Not dated. 
A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

Formerly in the Linnell collection. Sold at Christie's, 15 March 
1918 (lot 211, Swayne, 29 gns.). Resold by the American Art 
Association, Anderson Galleries, 25 May 1938 (lot 74). Now in the 
Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 398; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 
238; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 218; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 389; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 925. Now first accurately printed. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

143. To JOHN LINNELL ? February 1827 

ADDRESSED TO: J Linnell Esq re . 

Not dated. Written on a long slip of paper, which was evidently left 
by Blake at Linnell's house. 


History as for no. 126. 

PRINTED: Keynes, Bibliography, 1921, p. 457; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 
iii, 390; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 925. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

144. To JOHN LINNELL 15 March 1827 

ADDRESSED TO: M r Linnell, Girencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
DATED: 15 March, 1827. 
A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

Formerly in the Linnell collection. Sold at Christie's, 15 March 
1918 (lot 212, Carfax, 30 gns.). Then in the collection of T. H. 
Riches, and now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 398; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 220; 
Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 390; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, 
P- 925- 

145. To MARIA DENMAN 18 March 1827 

ADDRESSED: To Miss Denman, Buckingham Street, Fitzroy Square. 

DATED: Wednesday Morning, 18 March 1827 3 Fountain Court 

A single leaf, 4, 2 1 -5 X 16-5 cm. 

Sold at Henckel's Auction Rooms, New York, in 1912 (lot 554, 
$30.00). Afterwards in the possession of Mr. W. T. Spencer, Lon- 
don, until about 1930. Now in the New York Public Library, Berg 

PRINTED: Wright's Life of Blake, 1929, ii, 114 (wrongly dated 14 
March, 1827). 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

146. To JOHN LINNELL [1827] 

ADDRESSED TO: John Linnell Esq re , Cirencester Place, Fitzroy 

Not dated. A single leaf, 8. 

Formerly in the collection of W. A. White, New York, and had been 
inserted in copy Q, of the Songs of Innocence. Not traced. 
PRINTED: Grolier Club Catalogue, 1905, p. 138; Russell, Letters, 


1906, p. 221; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 391; Keynes, Poetry and 

Prose, 1939, p. 926. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Grolier Club Catalogue, 1905. 

147. To GEORGE CUMBERLAND 12 April 1827 

ADDRESSED TO: George Cumberland Esq re , Culver Street, Bristol, 

DATED: 12 April 1827, N 3 Fountain Court Strand. 

A double leaf, 4, written on two sides. On the recto of the second 

leaf are notes by Cumberland on Blake's death and burial and his 

card plate, a print from which is pasted on below. 

Formerly in the Fairfax Murray collection, sold at Sotheby's, 5 Feb. 

1920 (lot 21). Afterwards in the possession of Messrs. Maggs, and 

offered by them in several catalogues. Now in the Fitzwilliam 

Museum, Cambridge (purchased 1936). 

PRINTED: Ellis and Yeats, Works, 1893, i, 162; Ellis, The Real Blake, 

1906, p. 433; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 221; Keynes, Writings, 1925, 

iiij 392; Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 926. Now first printed 

accurately and in full. 


148. To JOHN LINNELL 25 April 1827 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr Linnell, 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 

DATED: 25 April 1827. 

A single leaf, 4, written on one side. 

History as for no. 126 (lot 213 in the sale). 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 400; Story, Life of Linnell, 1892, i, 
239; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 224; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 393; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 928. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

149. To JOHN LINNELL 3 July 1827 

ADDRESSED TO: Mr Linnell, 6 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square. 
DATED: 3 July 1827. 
A single leaf, 8, written on one side. 
History as for no* 126. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 403;' Story, Life of Linnell, 1892* i, 


1240; Russell, Letters, 1906, p. 225; Keynes, Writings, 1925, iii, 394; 
Keynes, Poetry and Prose, 1939, p. 928. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 

150. MRS BLAKE to JOHN LINNELL 18 May 1829 

DATED: May i8th 1829. 

Receipt for Homer from Mrs. Blake. In Frederick Tatham's hand 
with his signature. On a slip of paper 8-5 X 18 cm. 

History as for no. 114. 
PRINTED: Now first printed. 
SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 


15 August 1827 

DATED: Wednesday Evens, i.e. three days after Blake's death, which 

took place on Sunday, 12 August 1827. 

Formerly in the possession of A. H. Palmer and exhibited at the 

Palmer Exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1926 (no. n in 

the catalogue). Sold with the Palmer Collection at Christie's, 20 

Feb. 1928 (lot 34, Stevens and Brown, 18 gns.). Afterwards in the 

possession of Sessler of Philadelphia. 

PRINTED: Gilchrist, Life, 1880, i, 406; Palmer Exhibition Catalogue, 

1926, p. 22. 

SOURCE OF TEXT: Photostat. 



Abernethy, John, 197 

Academical Correspondence, 
Hoare's, 115 

Adam, R. B., Collection, 222 

Addington, Henry, 88 

Aders, Charles, 187 

Mrs., 198 

American War, the, 47 

Anderdon, J. H., 237 

" Angel of the Divine Presence, 
The", 87 

Antiquities of Athens, Stuart & 
Revett's, 2911. 

Arnold, William Harris, collec- 
tion, 219 

Astrologer, arrest of an, 164 

Bacon, Lord, Advancement of 
Learning, 36 

on discipline, 192 


Baily, E. Hodges, R.A., 186 
Balmanno, Robert, 185, 186 
Banks, Thomas, R.A., 148 
Barham Johnson, Miss, 19 
Barrett, Oliver R., 236 

Roger W., 236 

Basire, James, 39 
Bath Guide, The, 162 
Behman, Jacob, 47 
Behnes, Mr., 187 
Bell's Weekly Messenger, 156 
Bentley, G. E., jr., 20, lam. 
Betty, William Henry West, 148 
Biddle, Moncure, 244 
Birch, John, 65, 84, 140, 151 
Bird, Mr., 188 

Bishop, Morchard, Blake's Hay- 
ley, 19 

Blair, Mr., surgeon, 164 
Blair's Grave, 22, 23 
Blake, Catherine, letter signed 
by, 49, 134 

receipt from, 164, 


Catherine (sister), 51, 53, 

56, 63, 64, 78 

James, 72 

John, 76 

Robert, 43, 76 

William, attorney, 2 1 

Blake's Hayley, Bishop's, 19 
Book of Designs, Large and Small, 


Boydell, John, 125 
Bradley, Otis T., 243 
Braithwaite, Daniel, 113, 115, 

117, 118, 133 
Briggs, Ada E., 234 
Bristol, Cumberland at, 17, 

Britannia, Flaxman's statue of, 

Brown, Alan R., 221, 223, 225, 


Bruno's fairies, 50 
Bruno, Giordano, son. 
Buchan, Earl of, 237 
Bucknell, Emma W., collection, 


Budd & Calkin, 188 
Bunhill Fields, Blake's burial in, 

Butts, Thomas, jr., 20, 159 

senr., account of, 19 

miniature of, 

62, 63, 65, 74, 


Butts, Thomas, senr., copy of Job, 
187, 202 

poems to, 57, 


Calvert, Edward, 186, 187 
Canterbury Pilgrims, Blake's, 


Garr, John, barrister, 127 
Carrache, 73 
Chambre, Sir Alan, 112 
Chance, Edward John, 196 
Chantrey, Sir Francis, R.A., 

188, 191 

Chetwynd, Mrs., 82, 134 
Chichester, Blake's opinion of, 


History of, 140 

trial at, 105 

Clounold, booksellers, 187 
Cock, Private, 92, 97, 109 
Collins 5 Farm, North End, ig5n. 
Colnaghi & Co., 188 
Comus, designs for, 67 
Connoisseur, The, 234 
Connoisseurs, Blake's opinion of, 


Corregio, 3411., 72, 73 
Cosens, Mr., mill-owner, 97 
Cousin, Blake's, 191 
Gowper, William, Hayley's Life 
of, 81 

Milton, 83, 88 

miniature of, 62n. 

monument to, 103, 

"5 I][ 7 

Creeping Jesus, 203 
Cromek, R. H., 23 

and Blair's Grave, 153, 

Cumberland, George, 130 

account of, 16 

message card, 204 

-jr., 20 

Cunliffe, Henry, 237 

- Lord, 237 
Cunningham, Allan, 234 

- Peter, 234 
Cymeliarchs, Cumberland's, 1 72 

Dally, Mr., 67n., 121, 130 

Daniel, Mr., 232 

Daniel, Rev. L., 188 

Dante, drawings for, 185, 193, 

195 . 

- engravings for, 200, 205 

Davidson, W. S., 188 
"Death of Joseph, The", 87 
"Death of the Virgin Mary, 

The", 87 
Dedication to the Queen, 

Blake's, 160 

Demosthenes, Death of, 40, 112 
Denman, Maria, 215 
Descriptive Catalogue, Blake's, 173 
Dictation, writing by, 85 
Dodsley, James, 143 
Doheny, Mrs. Edward L., col- 

lection, 248 

Dreer, Ferdinand J., 229 

Richard, 1 7 
Richard Denison, 1 7 

East Dereham Church, monu- 

ment in, 103, 117 
Edward, Bard of Oxford, 13 
Edwards, Mr., 101, 112, 114, 

127, 142 

Egham, Cumberland at, 17 
Egner, Arthur F., 224 
Egremont, Countess of, 165, 167 
- Earl of, 1 88 
Egyptian Gods, 86 
Englefield Green, Trusler at, 1 7 
Engraving, fees for, 131, 140, 

147 ^ 

Engraving, remarks on, 36, 38 
Enitharmon, 77 
Enoch, Mrs., no 
Essay on Sculpture, Hayley's, 40, 



Euler, engraving of, 36n., 126 
Evans, R. H., bookseller, 82, 
1 02 

Falconer, William, The Ship- 
wreck, 124 
Felpham, Blake's first visit to, 

4 8 

journey to, 50 

Fincham, Mr., 197 
Fitzroy Square, Butts in, 20 
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cam- 
bridge, i82n., iSsn., i85n., 
ig8n., 218, 251, 252 
Flaxman, Anne, 115 
123, 125, 128, 131, 

132, 186 

account of, 18 

classical drawings by, 

18, 201 

death of, 204 

Iliad of Homer, 121 

Lecture on Sculpture, 

Letter to the Committee, 

medallion by, 4on., 

John, monument to Cow- 

per by, 103, 115, 

117, 118, 139 
poem to, 47 

Maria, 69 

Flower, Mr., 188 

Forman, H. Buxton, collector, 

221, 223, 224, 225, 226 
Fox Inn, The, 93 
French Revolution, the, 47, 203 
Frend, Mrs. Gilchrist, 23, 33n. 
Fresco, Blake's, 33n. 
Fuseli, Henry, 16, 38, 45, 70, 77, 
102, 114, 132 

Master of Royal 

Academy, 148 

Milton Gallery, 83 

"Ugolino" by, 157 

Genesis, the Seven Days of the 

Created World, 76n. 
George IV, King, 188 
Gilchrist, Herbert H., drawing 

by, 23 

Mrs., 14 

Gilpin, William, 72 
Gooch, Dr., 188 
Goodspeed, bookseller, 244 
Greek, Blake learning, 83 
Greeks, Art of the, 32, 36, 38, 


Greene, Thomas, of Slyne, 128 
Grinder, Mr. & Mrs., 98, 109 
Grolier Club Catalogue, 251 

Haines, W., engraving by, i i3n 
Hall, Mr., 82 

Hamilton, Lady, 112, 114, 127 
Hampstead, Blake at, 48, 191-2 
Hanley, Dr. E., collection, 244 
Harris, Miss Beatrice, 237 
Harrison, Mr., 187 
Hartford, Trinity College, 221, 

223, 225, 239 
Harvard College Library, 214, 

223, 224, 226, 230, 232 
Haverford College, 213, 230 
Hawkins, John, 136, 142 
Hayley, Thomas Alphonso, 4on., 

death of, 43 

medallion by, 


William, account of, 18 

Ballads, 79, 82, 102, 

144, 145, 146, 147 

Essay on Sculpture, 

4on., 45 

Life ofCowper, 65, 8 1 

poem to Blake by, 

translations of Tasso, 


Triumphs of Temper, 

., 6gn., 146 


Hayley William, Triumphs of 
Music, 145 

Venusia, 152, 140 

Haynes, Mrs., 96-8 

Heaphy, Thomas, engraver, 182 

Hebrew, Blake learning, 83 

Hermit of Eartham, 49 

Hesketh, Lady, 81, 116 

Highgate, Blake at, 192 

Historical Society of Pennsyl- 
vania, 225, 229 

Hoare, Prince, 115, 117, 118, 
12 1-3 

Hoe, Robert, collection, 232 

"Holy Family, The", Blake's, 

Homer, Chapman's, 206 

Hornsey, Blake at, 192 

Hosier, Mr., 96 

Houghton Library, 14, 24 

Howard, Mr., drawing by, 4on. 

Humphry, Ozias, letters to, 21, 
23, 165, 167, 173 

130, 178 

Hunter, John, 18 

Huntington Library, California, 
211, 216, 246 

Hurd, Mrs,, 195 

Hymn on the Nativity, Milton's, 

Illuminated Books, Blake's, 171, 

178, 204 

Imagination, world of, 35 
Intellectual vision, Blake's, 138 
Island in the Moon, Blake's, 17 
Islington, Blake at ? 192 

Jacobe, J., mezzotint by, 23 
"Jacob's Ladder," 4gn. 
Jebb, Rev. John, 188 
Jeens, engraving by, 22 
"Jephthah Sacrificing his 

Daughter/' 87 
Jerusalem, Blake's, 183, 203 
Johns, Mr., 188 

Johnson, John, bookseller, 16, 
38, 70, 102, no, 
1 20, 126, 129, 130 

Johnson, John, of Norfolk, 19, 
64, 117 

miniature of, 62n. 

Jones, Mr., 98 

Klopstock, Mrs., Letters, 133 
Knighton, Sir William, 188 

Lahee, Mr., printer, 189 
Lambert, Mrs., 103, no, 156 
"Last Judgment, The," Blake's, 

165, 167 

Latin, Blake learning, 83 
Lawrence, Sir T., 186, 187, 193 
Leathes, Captain of Dragoons, 


Leighs, Mr., bookseller, 185, 186 
Leighton, Mr., binder, 189 
Ley, Dr. H., 187 
Linnell, James, ig8n. 

John, account of, 20 

portrait by, 22 

William, birth of, 196-7 

Little Tom the Sailor, 60 
Lizars, H. W., 188 
Locker-Lampson, Frederick, 13 
Long, William, 118 
Los, 77, 78 

Lowell, Amy, collection, 232 
Lowery, Miss Ruth, 21 
Lowry, Wilson, engraver, 185 

Macgeorge, B. B., collection, 

Macmillan, Alexander, 13 

Maine Historical Society, 223 
"Malevolence", Blake's picture 

of, 23, 33, 35 
Malkin, T. H., A Father's 

Memoirs 9 151 
Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 

Blake's, 183 
Marsh, Edward, 


Mayer, Joseph, collection, 224, Oracle & True Briton, The, 164 

225, 226, 228 
Melancholy, Blake's, 45 
Meredith, H., 188 
Meyer, William, 135, 138 
Michelangelo, 34, 35, 72, 74 
Milton, Blake's, 8$n. 
Miniatures, Blake's, 24, 59, 62 
Monotypes, Blake's, 178 
Monthly Magazine, The, 164, 


Morrison Collection, 220 
Morten, H. V., collection, 217 
Moss, W. E., i72n., 220 
Mowbray, Mr., 177 
Muir, William, 225, 243 
Munby, A. N. L., 218 
Murray, Charles Fairfax, col- 

Ottley, William Young, 205 

Palmer, A. H., 2o6n., 253 

- Samuel, 206 
Paracelsus, 47 

Paradise Regained, drawings for, 

i8 5 

Parker, James, engraver, 131-3 

- Mr., bookseller, 187 
Pars, Henry, 29 

- William, 29 

Paulina, Lady, see Poole, Harriet 
Payne, Mr., 136 
Percy's Reliques, 7 in. 
Pericles, engraving of, 43 
Petworth House, picture at, 23, 
16511., 236 

lection, 4on. 215, 216, 225, 252 Phillips, Richard, 121-3, 127, 

Muss, Mr., 185 
Muster-master General, 20 
Muswell Hill, Blake at, 192 

Naked Beauty, 37 
National Gallery, foundation of, 

128, 143, 145, 147, I49 J 52 
Thomas, portrait by, 22 

Pierpont Morgan Library, 215, 

225, 227 
"Pitt, The Spiritual form of", 

Pitt, William, 88 

Nature, Blake's view of, 35, 65, Pocock, Sir George, Bt., 188 

74, 87, 204 

Poets, Heads of the, 60 

Newbold, David M., collection, Poole, Harriet, 19, 103, 104, in, 

New Review, Maty's, 1 7 

113, 116, 117, 124, 126, 133, 
> 136, 142, 

Newton, A. E., collection, 232, Portrait painting, 74, 80 


Caroline, 233 
James, engraver, 29 
Sir Isaac, 64, 79, 202 
William, 29 

Povey, Mr. Kenneth, 76n. 
"Presentation of Christ", draw- 

ing of, 6 1 
Prosser, Mr., 187 

Quaritch, Bernard, 13, 224 
Raphael, 3411., 35, 72, *57> 

New York Public Library, 251 

Nicholson's Journal, 172 

Nimrod's Tower, 87 

Nollekens and his Times, Smith's, 171 

236 Read, Mr., 114 

North End, Blake at, 195 Rembrandt, 34 

Revett, Nicholas, 2gn. 
Opie, engraving by Blake after, Reynolds, Sir J., 72, 173 


Richardson, 133 


Riches, T. H., collection, 18311., 

18511., ig8n., 251 
- Mrs. T. H., 18211. 
Richmond, Duke of, 12 in. 
Richter, Mr., and Romney, 131 
Rinder, Mrs. Frank, iQ^n. 
"Riposo", drawing of, 84, 86 
Riviere, Mr., 187 
Robertson, W r Graham, 216, 

Robinson, Henry Grabb, 187, 

194, ig8n. 

Rochester, University of, 222 
Rome, Blake's projected visit to, 


Romney, George, age of, 130 
-- as painter, 80 
-- engraving of, i oo, 
105, in, 114, 118, 
i33> !35> 136, 138, 

Hayley's Life of, 19 
paintings -by, 104, 

114, 119, 120, 124, 

132, 135, 141 
"The Shipwreck" by, 

, 138, i39> 156 

-- residence, 131 
- John, 104, 112, 113, 117, 


Roscius, young, 148 
Rose, Samuel, 103, 112, 114, 
117, i2in., 126, 
129, 130, 136 
-- account of, 1 9 
-- death of, 140 
-- speech by, 1 05 
Rosenbach, A. S. W., collection, 

Rosenwald, Lessing J., collec- 

tion, 20on., 215, 220, 228, 243, 

Rowfant Library, 13, 214, 223, 

224, 226, 230 
Rubens, 34n. 


"Ruth and Naomi", 87 
Russell, A. G. B., 13, 15 

"St. Paul Preaching", 87 
Saunders, Mr., 101, 104, 112, 

119, 128 

Schiavonetti, portrait by, 22 
Scofield, John, 90, 95, 96-9, 107 
Scholfield see Scofield 
Schwarz, Dr. Jacob, 23 
Seagrave, Henry, printer., 82, 

94, 129, 156 

Sea of time and space, 70 
Sea weed as barometer, 75 
Serena, in Triumphs of Temper, 147 
Shakespeare, 47 
- engravings for, 115, 125, 

132, 134, 142 
Sib thorp, Colonel, 142 
Siddons, Mrs., Romney's por- 

trait of, 114 

Simpson, Major C. H., 236 
Smith, George G., collection, 
228, 244 

- John Thomas, 216 

- Raphael, ig8n. 

Songs of Innocence and of Experi- 
ence, 179, 182, 198, 203, 204 

Southey, Robert, review by, 156 

Spectres of the dead, 63 

Spelling, Blake's, 15 

Spencer, Walter T., 251 

Spicer, Widow, 6on. 

Spilsbury, Jonathan, portrait 
painter, 134 

Sterne, Lawrence, 113, 126 

Stewart, Anthony, 187 

Stothard, Thomas, 16, 18, 80 

-- "Canterbury Pil- 
grims", 162 

Stuart, James, 2gn. 


Tasso, Hayley's translation of, 76 
Tatham, C. H., 187, 201 

Tatham, Frederick, memoir of 
Blake, 13 

1 88, 214, 253 

Taylor, Josiah, 188 

Taylor Museum, Colorado, 219 

Teniers, 34 

Theotormon, 77 

Thistle, the, 77 

Thomas, Mr., 67 

Thornton, Dr., 185 

Thoughts on Outline, Cumber- 
land's, son., 3 in. 

"Three Maries", The, 87, 96 

Tickell, Thomas, "Lucy and 
Colin", 7 in. 

Tinker, Mr. Chauncey Brewster, 

Titian, 34n. 

Todd, Ruthven, 233 

Toovey, C. J., collection, 239 

Torrens, Sir Henry, 187 

Tregaskis, James, 213, 214 

Tristram Shandy, engraving for, 
113, 126 

Truchsessian Gallery, 137 

Trusler, Rev. Dr., account of, 

Blake's relations with, 

Turner, Dawson, collection, 243 

"Ugolino in Prison", tempera of, 
24, 205 

by Fuseli, 157 

Unwin, Mrs., tablet to, 104 
Upcott, William, 236, 237 
Upholland College, 152 
Upton, Mr., engraving of, 181-2 

Varley, John, 244 
Vegetable Universe, the, 51 
Venetian Art, 72, 1 73 

Vine, James, 187 
Virgin's wax, 30 
Vision, double, 77, 79 

Wainwright, T. G., 187 
Walker, Adam, in, 114, 124, 
126, 128, 130, 132 

portrait by Romney, 


Washington, Life of, 127, 129, 134 
Waters, Mr., 187 
Watson, Caroline, engraver, 148 
Wedgwood, Josiah, letter to, 

Wedgwood Museum, 242 

letters in, 21 

Weller, Mr., 67 
Wells, Gabriel, collection, 248 
Westmacott, Richard, R.A., 188 
White, Mr., 189 

W. A., collection, 243, 251 

William , gardener and ostler, 

97-9, 108-9 
Willowby, Mr., 186 
Windows of the Morning, Lowery's, 


Winkelmann's Reflections, 32n. 
Woodburn, Mr. S., 188 
Wright of Derby, engraving of, 

Wyndham, Mr. John, 23n., 236 

Yale University Library, 203, 


Young, Charles Mayne, actor, 
1 88 

Dr., 197 

George, surgeon, 188 

Mrs., of Devonshire, 188 

Young's Night Thoughts, 38 
Youatt, Rev. Mr., shorthand 

writer, 105